Patrick Reed refused to allow Brooks Koepka’s stinging remarks impact his fine opening round of two-under-par to begin the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Reed’s 69 puts him four shots behind Rory McIlroy heading into Friday but the fiery American simply cannot shed the baggage surrounding the now notorious incident from last December’s World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Reed was handed a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie in the sandy waste area, which have drawn accusations this week from the four-time major winner that he cheated.
“Yeah, I don’t know what he was doing, building sand castles in the sand,” Koepka told SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.
“You know where your club is. I took three months off and I can promise you I know if I touch sand. If you look at the video, obviously he grazes the sand twice and then he still chops down on it.”
When pushed on his response, Reed attempted to diffuse the situation with his Ryder Cup teammate.
“I’ve said what I have to say about what happened in the Bahamas, and at the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is go out and play good golf and trying to win a golf championship and hopefully run Rory down,” said the 2018 Masters champion.
McIlroy pays tribute to old putter in hot start to lead in Mexico
Reed then went into much more detail about the course in Mexico and the unique conditions facing the field this week.
“I think the biggest thing is into the wind, downwind, kind of sea level at home, it’s very easy to kind of judge,” Reed said.
“But all of a sudden you come here and it seems like downwind the ball will just not stop. It just never stops, and then into the wind it seems like the ball doesn’t go anywhere.
“Because the air is thinner up here, it seems like at the end of the day the wind magnifies what the ball wants to do.”