McDowell defends Reed:


McDowell defends Reed: "I didn't see a whole lot wrong"

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Graeme McDowell has leapt to the defence of Patrick Reed, following the American's controversial victory at the Farmers Insurance Open. 

Reed fell under the judging gaze of what seemed the entire golfing community during his third round at Torrey Pines.

The 30-year old moved his ball from what he deemed an "embedded" position at the 10th, without consulting an official or his playing partner first.

It's led to further accusations of cheating against Reed, something to which he's no stranger.

"I think 99 percent of the golfers out here, if it’s in question one way or the other, they’re going to go the other way, not taking a drop, it didn’t cross, that type of deal," world no.50 Lanto Griffin said after the incident.

“So it’s tough to see, it’s sad, kind of pisses us off, but it’s the way it is. Hopefully something changes and come to a conclusion.”

Xander Shauffele claimed "the talk amongst the boys isn’t great" and that Reed was being "protected" by the PGA Tour.

But speaking ahead of his defence of the Saudi International this week, McDowell has become one of the few to defend the 2018 Masters champion.

"I saw a little bit of the footage. I felt like he did things OK," the 2010 US Open winner said.

"I felt like he pretty much went about the procedure the way you're supposed to.

"Unfortunately he's created a name for himself which attracts a huge amount of attention when he does things.

"I like Patrick. I think he's a good kid. I think he's a great player.

"I feel bad that he's created the label for himself that he has, because I think he's such a talented player.

"I hope we can move on from it and see him for the player he is.

"Of course we need to protect the field. There is no place in the game of golf for cheating. I hate the word.

"Did Patrick Reed cheat last week? No, I don't think he did.

"I don't think he did something that didn't protect the rest of the field.

"We've spoken a little bit about it. People have their opinions. I'm in the camp that I didn't see a whole lot wrong with what he did last week.

"It's a tough one. I hope we can continue to talk about his golf, rather than the other stuff that he's unfortunately been talked about for."

Ryder Cup dream

Meanwhile, McDowell says he's making some adjustments to his own game.

He's had a frustrating few months, missing the cut at both the Dubai Desert Classic and the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Despite a dip in form, McDowell still harbours ambitions of making Padraig Harrington's European team in September's Ryder Cup.

"Ryder Cup's a priority," the Portrush man said, "Of course it is.

"Because if I can get myself on the team at Whistling Straits, it means I've achieved the things I want to achieve this year - playing well, winning tournaments, competing in the big events, winning big events.

"I'm in the frame, so I have to believe that I'm good enough to play. And I am good enough to play.

"I don't like using the word 'rebuild', because I'm not really rebuilding.

"I feel like I've hit a lot of balls in the last couple of months, I'm moving back in the right direction.

"My long game's really not bad at all. I'm really just not making enough birdies right now, and I think that's one part technique and it's one part mental.

"I need to get more aggressive, need to hit the ball a little closer to the flag and obviously get hot with the putter.

"Ryder Cup is a massive priority of course, I'd love to be part of the team. It would be a massive dream to be on the team."

Patrick Reed – Is he good or bad for golf?

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Farmers Insurance Open Graeme McDowell Patrick Reed Rory McIlroy Ryder Cup Saudi International Torrey Pines

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