Reed holds 3-shot lead midway through Hero World Challenge
Patrick Reed pulled away from the field with his second consecutive 6-under 66 to take a three-shot lead after Round 2 at the Hero World Challenge. The 29-year-old entered Thursday's round sharing the top spot with Gary Woodland. But thanks to eight birdies - and one bogey on No. 17 - Reed gave himself a large cushion with 36 holes to play."Captain America" is trying to remove any doubt as to whether he truly deserved a selection for next week's Presidents Cup from Tiger Woods with a victory in the Bahamas.Speaking of Tiger, the tournament host rebounded from opening-round 72 with a bogey-free 66 on Day 2.
MELBOURNE – The strange on-course meeting between Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith on Thursday at Royal Melbourne Golf Club was so difficult to characterize that one of the two protagonists still was befuddled by it.
After winning a half-point on Friday in foursomes with Sungjae Im of Korea, Smith was asked about the wordless encounter between the two men between the fifth and sixth holes on Thursday morning. Playing in four-ball with Webb Simpson, Reed converted a birdie on the fifth hole, and as he made his way to the sixth tee, he spied Smith, who was sitting out the session but there to encourage International teammates Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan.
Golf: Reed violation 'opens the door' for Presidents Cup crowds - Leishman
Golf: Reed violation 'opens the door' for Presidents Cup crowds - LeishmanReed was penalized two strokes on Friday after twice moving sand while taking practice swings to improve his lie at the invitational tournament in the Bahamas hosted by Tiger Woods.
Reed reportedly made a beeline for Smith. According to Australian Golf Digest what ensued was this: “[the two] were seen “deliberately” bumping into each other in a clash of shoulders, with one witness referring to it as a “love tap” that drew a wry grin from Smith.
Though a day had passed, the young Aussie still struggled to describe what happened.
“Yeah, I'm not really sure what it was about to be honest,” Smith, 26, said. “I mean, I haven't said anything wrong. I just don't want to really talk about it anymore. I think it's all said and done. I've said my bit. He's said his bit. Let's just get on with our job and try and play the Presidents Cup.”
So it doesn't sound like it was exactly a love tap, or even a playful tussle. Smith certainly didn't go out of his way to bump into his American peer, with whom he had been friendly until recently.
Woods, Els focused on week ahead instead of Reed drama
Until the first ball is hit at Royal Melbourne to kick off the Presidents Cup, the aftershock from Patrick Reed's penalty at last week's Hero World Challenge will be one of the main talking points. When team captains Tiger Woods and Ernie Els sat in front of the assembled media in Australia, they were asked numerous times about Reed. Tiger made it known that he and his team have put the incident behind them. "It was not a lengthy conversation,"When team captains Tiger Woods and Ernie Els sat in front of the assembled media in Australia, they were asked numerous times about Reed. Tiger made it known that he and his team have put the incident behind them.
Smith has been one of the more outspoken critics of Reed after the American bulldog incurred a two-stroke penalty for what appeared to be intentionally improving his lie in a waste area at the Hero World Challenge. He repeated his criticism earlier this week and said he hoped that the home fans reserved a few choice words for the Texan this week. Which they have, heckling Reed almost continually the first two days.
Smith just wants to move on. Playing on Friday helped. He was eager to get into the action, and he didn’t need a shoulder shiver from Reed to get fired up. “I was pretty amped up yesterday to be honest. I did an early practice session, and went out there all day, watched the boys,” he said. “I couldn't believe how long golf took while you're watching it.”
That line drew a few laughs.
Yeah, controversy aside, he’s enjoying his first Presidents Cup. When he did finally step on the tee, he played well – not surprising because he knows Royal Melbourne rather thoroughly. He and Im jumped ahead with birdies on the first two holes, and it took a Herculean effort in the closing stretch for Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland to eke out the tie.
Reed: Smith's cheating comments make Presidents Cup 'personal'
Patrick Reed didn't care for Cameron Smith's comments about the former's two-stroke penalty for improving his line of play in the Bahamas last week. "I don't have any sympathy for anyone that cheats," Smith said. Reed said that's lit a fire under him as the two prepare to compete against each other at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne. "It's not the right word to use. At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it's not considered cheating and at the end of the day, that's what it is," Reed said, according to Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard.
“It was good. It was a long match,” he said. “I thought we had them there for a while. The way they played the last four or five holes was really impressive, two really good guys. Typically we've struggled in foursomes, so to get away with a halve, I mean, isn't so bad. I know we were looking good there for awhile, but I think we'll take confidence into the next couple days.”
Smith will be sitting again in four-ball this morning, but will again cheer on his teammates and soak up an atmosphere that is new to him. He is enjoying every minute of it. “It’s just been awesome so far, everything I thought.”
Who knows? When it’s all over, and if the Internationals somehow manage to pull off the upset, perhaps he can offer Patrick Reed a shoulder to cry on.
Ancer to face Woods in Presidents Cup singles .
Mexico's Abraham Ancer was handed the task of facing Tiger Woods in the singles at the Presidents Cup on Sunday with the match play showdown poised for a tense finish. Woods said it has always been his plan to only play two matches before the singles. "We've had different scenarios, different pairings and different things happen. That's just part of playing team matches," he said. "We've had I think a good formula for this event, and unfortunately we're down 8-10, but we're excited about tomorrow and getting after it.