While clinging to the lead at the Hero World Challenge on Friday, Patrick Reed literally tried to dig himself out of a tricky situation when his ball came to rest in a waste area.
After his approach shot on the par-5 11th hole rolled into an unfortunate lie, Reed swept the sand behind his ball with a "practice swing" on two separate occasions. While he was allowed to ground his club in the waste area, PGA Tour officials determined that he'd moved enough sand to improve his line of play and gave him a two-stroke penalty.
Reed was not penalized for improving his lie. Instead, he was judged to be in violation of Rule 8.1a (4), which prohibits "removing or pressing down sand or loose soil," the PGA Tour announced. Reed's intent was not factored into the decision by the Tour and, although he brushed sand two separate times, his actions were treated as a single infraction.
Here is a video of the incident:
Reed commented on the ruling after his round and suggested that it looked worse than it was.
"I think with a different camera angle they would have realized that if it was from the side, you would have seen that with the backswing, it was not improving the lie because it was far enough away from the golf ball," Reed said, according to Golf.com's Dylan Dethier. "But after seeing that camera angle, because it brushed the sand it was a penalty."
Reed also said that he accepted the ruling. He originally made bogey on the hole but the penalty resulted in a triple-bogey eight.
He entered the third round with a three-stroke lead. By carding a 2-over 74, he will now head into the final round three shots back.