Patrick Reed’s rules imbroglio has caught the attention of his Presidents Cup opponents.
Multiple members of the International team have weighed in on the rules dispute that saw Reed receive a two-shot penalty for improving his line of play in a bunker on Friday at the Hero World Challenge.
Cameron Smith offered the strongest criticism yet. He was asked at the Australian Open, where six International team players teed it up last week, whether fans at Royal Melbourne should let Reed hear it next week. Smith didn’t hold back.
"I hope so," Smith said, per Evin Priest of the Australian Associated Press. "I don't have any sympathy for anyone that cheats.
"I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone [on the American team] next week."
Smith didn’t seem to buy Reed’s justification for his actions—that the camera angle made his actions look worse than they were, and that a face-on look would have showed that he wasn’t actually intending to improve his lie.
"If you make a mistake maybe once, you could maybe understand, but to give a bit of a bulls**t response like the camera angle ... that's pretty up there."
Smith wasn’t the only one who thought Reed’s actions could give the Australian fans some bulletin-board material ahead of next week’s matches, where the Americans are heavy favorites. His countryman Marc Leishman also weighed in.
“There are opportunities there, put it that way,” Leishman said. “I think he’s definitely opened a door there, that he’s brought on himself."
Leishman also warned Reed of hearing it from the fans.
“As long as it’s not disrespectful,” Leishman said of any potential heckling, “You never want to cross the line, but I think there is some pretty good ammo there, isn’t there?”
U.S. team captain Tiger Woods didn’t seem too worried that Reed’s actions will be a distraction.
“When it comes right down to it, we'll just get ready to play,” Woods said. “Whatever Patrick has put out there, he's focused like he is in every Cup, he just goes out and gets his point. Next week will be no different.”
Reed, who was selected with one of Woods’ four captain’s picks, finished in a tie for third at the Hero, two behind Henrik Stenson’s winning total.