MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Justin Thomas has made light of Patrick Reed’s controversial penalty in the Bahamas last week, mimicking his United States team mate’s bunker grooming during practice at the Presidents Cup.
In video posted on social media, Thomas is seen flinging sand away from the lie of his ball with his wedge when plugged in a bunker at Royal Melbourne during practice.
“P Reed,” Thomas called to his practice partner, raising laughter from off-camera. “Is this right?”
Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie when he moved sand with his practice swing on Friday at the Hero World Challenge.
The former Masters champion has received plenty of flak for the incident in the leadup to the biennial Presidents Cup which starts Thursday against an International team of players representing the rest of the world except Europe.
Australian golfer Cameron Smith told local media that Reed had been “cheating the rules” and some of his International team mates said the American should be targeted by the crowds at Royal Melbourne.
Reed fired back at a news conference on Tuesday, saying “cheat” was inaccurate because he had not seen the sand move and the officials concurred that he inadvertently improved his lie.
The United States are bidding to extend their reign over the Presidents Cup to an eighth successive title.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Himani Sarkar