Patrick Reed is apparently not happy with how his rules incident at the 2019 Hero World Challenge has been perceived and talked about in golf media, particularly on Golf Channel.
In particular, as Golfweek reports, Reed is displeased with how Brandel Chamblee has characterized Reed's clear violation of the Rules of Golf in the Bahamas and his subsequent explanation of his actions.
Reed's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Chamblee demanding he "refrain from any further dissemination, publication or republication of false and defamatory statements concerning Mr. Reed, including any allegations that he ‘cheated’ at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas," as quoted from the Dec. 13 letter Golfweek obtained.
Ginsberg also asked Chamblee to sign a document saying he wouldn't make similar statements to the one he made on Golf Channel on Dec. 9, when, talking about Reed and the PGA Tour's defense of his actions, he said, "To defend what Patrick Reed did is defending cheating. It’s defending breaking the rules."
Chamblee has been outspoken in his criticism of Reed's actions at the Hero World Challenge, during which Reed was penalized two shots for scooping sand away from behind his ball while making practice swings in a waste bunker at Albany Golf Club. Moving the sand, which is not considered a loose impediment away from the putting green, improved his lie and subjected him to a penalty after it was caught on camera by broadcaster NBC, whose parent company, Comcast, also owns Golf Channel.
Later, footage re-surfaced of Reed doing something similar in the 2015 edition of the tournament.
Reed was dismissive of allegations he deliberately improved his lie, making comments that made matters arguably worse. However, his comments are instructive of the language behind the cease-and-desist letter to Chamblee.
“(Cheating is) not the right word to use,” Reed said ahead of the Presidents Cup in December. “Whenever you’re out there and you do something unintentionally that breaks a rule, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is. If you intentionally try to do something, then yes it would be considered cheating. But I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve the lie or anything like that. If I was, it would have been a pretty good lie and I would have hit it really close.”
Ginsberg represented Vijay Singh in his successful lawsuit against the PGA Tour over their handling of his anti-doping program violation in 2013, ending in an undisclosed settlement amount after five years of litigation. He is currently representing Hank Haney is his suit against the PGA Tour, alleging the Tour sabotaged several of his business ventures and improperly pressured SiriusXM to end Haney's show on their PGA Tour Radio channel.