Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee has received a cease-and-desist letter from Patrick Reed's lawyer after making accusations the golfer cheated at the Hero World Challenge in December.
Eamon Lynch of Golfweek obtained the letter in an exclusive.
"The purpose of this letter is to obtain assurance that you will 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," Peter Ginsberg of the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Worcester.
The accusations are in reference to a two-stroke penalty that Reed incurred after the PGA Tour stated he was in violation of Rule 8.1a (4), which prohibits "removing or pressing down sand or loose soil."
Cameras caught Reed's club scooping up some sand behind his ball during some practice swings while on the 11th hole in the third round of the Hero World Challenge, thereby improving the lie.
Reed told reporters that it was not his intent to better his lie afterward:
“I was far enough away from the golf ball because when I take my practice swings anyways, I don't ever put the club directly behind the ball because I'm always scared of the ball moving. I'm always going to give myself some room, especially on practice swings. After seeing that camera angle, because it brushed the sand, it's a penalty. ...It is a big part, intent, but at the same time, when you only have one camera angle, that's all you can go off of.”
Other disagreed, including Chamblee.
"To defend what Patrick Reed did is defending cheating," Chamblee said on Dec. 9 per Lynch. "It’s defending breaking the rules."
Fellow PGA golfer Cameron Smith also had this to say to the media:
“If you make a mistake once, maybe you can understand, but to give like a bit of a bulls--t response like the camera angle, I mean, that’s pretty up there. I know Pat pretty good and he’s always been nice to me, so I don’t want to say anything bad about him. But for anyone that is cheating the rules, I’m not up for that.”
For his part, Chamblee does not seem bothered by the cease-and-desist letter, per Lynch.
“My first reaction was that someone is so pissed at Patrick Reed that they went back and watched all the nice things I said about him when he won the Masters and was demanding I cease and desist saying nice things. As I read further and got to the sentence that the tape fully supported him, I wondered how did Patrick Reed find the only lawyer in the world who didn’t play golf?"
Reed most recently finished in second place in the Sentry Tournament of Champions to Justin Thomas in a three-man playoff alongside Xander Schauffele. He is competing in the Sony Open this weekend.