Patrick Reed penalized for moving sand in waste bunker at Hero World Challenge

December 6, 2019

Patrick Reed was at the center of a rules fiasco at the Hero World Challenge Friday after moving sand from behind his ball twice while playing the par-5 11th hole at Albany.

While preparing for a shot from a waste bunker right of the fairway, Reed took his club back from his ball during multiple practice swings and moved sand from directly behind his ball twice. His ball sat in the middle of a depression, likely a footprint in the sand.

The new rules introduced in January allow players to ground their clubs in bunkers, so while Reed moved sand behind his ball, he was improving his line of play, according to Tour rules official Slugger White. Under Rule 8.1a (4), players are not to remove or press down loose sand or soil. After doing so, Reed was assessed a General Penalty, which is two strokes. You can see Reed’s actions below.

Reed wound up making bogey on the hole, following that with another bogey to lose his outright lead. Gary Woodland took that over with a 68. Meanwhile, Tour officials visited the Golf Channel compound to view footage of Reed’s play. After asking Reed about the incident after the round, he was assessed a two-shot penalty and his score on 11 was changed to a triple bogey 8.

The Rules have dominated the golf world all year long on every level. Most recently we saw Billy Mayfair involved with a controversial ruling during the playoffs on the Champions Tour. We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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