Is patrick reed a cheater?

It’s official. Patrick Reed is the most hated man in golf. The Boogeyman. A Russian implant.

Does he deserve this reputation? Good question.

Reed’s troubles began at the University of Georgia. As a freshman member of the Bulldogs’ golf team, there was an incident at a qualifying event for a collegiate tournament. Reed reportedly hit a drive into some deep rough. There was apparently another ball in the same area of rough, closer to the fairway and in a better lie.

The story goes that Reed prepared to hit that second ball when his teammates confronted him, telling him that wasn’t his ball. He is said to have pleaded ignorance, saying it was an honest mistake. He has strongly denied any intent to cheat, then and now.

Then, apparently some items went missing from the UGeorgia locker room: $400 in cash and some other things. Reed’s teammates allegedly blamed Reed for the theft. Again, he has vehemently denied any involvement. And no proof has ever surfaced indicating that Reed was the culprit.

Finally, Reed ran afoul of alcohol and the law: twice he was arrested in Athens, Georgia for public intoxication. The second time he was busted, he tried to keep it secret from his coaches. They found out. Reed left Georgia, enrolled at Augusta State and helped them win Division I titles in 2010 and 2011.

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the other major

Ah, April, the month of fools, Easter (sometimes) and, of course, The Masters.

But for golf writers of a certain age (like mine) April was also the month of an important national championship: the annual Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Most golfers know about Myrtle Beach and many have been: the long stretch of Lowcountry coastline between Georgetown and the North Carolina border is chockablock with golf courses and most of them are public. The latest count I’ve seen is 59 courses within 20 miles of MB, all but 3 of them public. And most of the hotels and motels along the Grand Strand offer some kind of golf package deal, stay-and-play rates that make the area a bargain hunter’s mecca.

Sports trivia fans may know that it was in Myrtle Beach (at the “Granddaddy,” Pine Lakes Country Club) that Time Inc. chairman Henry Luce and 67 editors and writers gathered in 1954 to hash out ideas for a new weekly sports magazine that became Sports Illustrated.

I joined the Golf Writers Association of America in the early 1980s. It wasn’t easy to get in. Like other sportswriters organizations (e.g. Baseball Writers, Football Writers etc.) you had to be a sportswriter covering golf and working for an accredited publication of some kind. Most of the members were newspaper beat reporters—they all covered golf, but most also covered other sports as well. Some others worked for the big national magazines at that time: Golf Digest, Golf, Golf Illustrated, Golf World, etc.

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