Presidents Cup: Patrick Reed’s caddie involved in altercation with fan

presidents-cup:-patrick-reed’s-caddie-involved-in-altercation-with-fan

Patrick Reed

Reed has lost all three of his matches at the Presidents Cup this week

Patrick Reed’s caddie has been thrown out of the Presidents Cup in Melbourne by the PGA Tour after he “shoved” a fan who verbally abused his player.

The altercation came on Saturday after American Reed suffered his third defeat against the International team.

Reed has been heckled all week after he was penalised for improving the lie of his ball at the Hero World Challenge.

The PGA Tour said: “Following an incident, Kessler Karain will not return to caddie for Sunday’s singles.”

Karain, who is Reed’s brother-in-law, had earlier said via a statement: “I don’t think there’s one caddie I know who would blame me.

“I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives. Security came and I got back on the cart and left.

“Unless his bones breaks like Mr Glass, the most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I’m happy to reimburse him for.”

The statement also said: “As a caddie, one of your jobs is to protect your player.

“We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after hearing several fans in Australia for three days some had taken it too far. I’d had enough. And this gentleman was one of them.”

Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, said: “I respect the Tour’s decision. We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup.”

The incident stems from a controversial moment at last week’s PGA Tour event in the Bahamas when Reed moved sand in a bunker with his practice swing – an offence which carries a two-stroke penalty.

The American’s infringement was only relayed to him at the end of his round.

“Every time I get in the bunker I’m scared to even get my club close to it [sand],” he said at the time.

“After seeing the video, I accept that. It wasn’t because of any intent, I thought I was far enough away.”

He has since been criticised by members of Ernie Els’ International team including Australian Cameron Smith, who said he “doesn’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats”.

Reed has denied he was cheating and on Friday made light of the incident by pretending to shovel sand after holing a putt and gesturing at the gallery.

He and playing partner Webb Simpson were beaten 5&3 by Hideki Matsuyama and CT Pan as Tiger Woods’ US team lost Saturday’s morning session 2½-1½.

But the US rallied in the afternoon foursomes to win 3-1 as the International team held a slender 10-8 lead going into Sunday’s singles.

“We chipped away at it,” US captain Woods told Sky Sports, “We knocked their lead down but there are 12 matches to go. We’re trusting each other and we love it.

“I expect my guys to fight, get some red out there, get some early momentum.”

The US need 7½ points to win an eighth successive title, while the International team need 5½ points to record just a second victory in the 13th staging of the Ryder Cup-style event.

Analysis

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

It is difficult to remember a player who has generated more hostility than Patrick Reed.

His unrepentant stance following the rules controversy in the Bahamas antagonised the situation. Miming a shovel action in response to crowd taunts dug up more trouble and now his caddie has been thrown out of the Presidents Cup.

Reed has lost all his matches this week compounding a loss of credibility and integrity.

He is now regarded as golf’s most divisive figure. He will struggle for future wildcard picks for his country. Captain America is suffering a huge fall from grace.

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