Patrick Reed Hits Back At 'Non-Issue' Tree Incident At Dubai Desert Classic

The American has given his take on the incident on the 17th hole during the third round of last week's tournament

Patrick Reed takes a shot at the 2023 Dubai Desert Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Reed has responded to an incident in last week’s Dubai Desert Classic where he appeared to take a penalty drop from the wrong tree after a tee shot on the 17th during the third round.

The LIV Golf player, who finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy in the tournament, has produced a statement on Twitter which he introduces writing: "This is my statement regarding Dubai Desert Classic! Maybe it’s time we get back to playing some golf. Best wishes!” 

The statement that follows reads: “Some people love controversy. But what happened on the 17th hole at the Dubai Desert Classic was a non-issue. As the DP World Tour confirmed, I was not asked to identify the tree my ball struck (that was done by ShotLink volunteers and several marshals), I was asked to identify the distinctive markings on the ball I was playing. I am looking forward to this week’s Asian Tour Flagship event at Royal Greens”.

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After the incident, the DP World Tour released a statement that tallies with Reed’s explanation. It read: "During round three of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic two on course referees and several marshals identified that Patrick Reed's ball had become lodged in a specific tree following his tee shot on 17. The DP World Tour chief referee joined the player in the area and asked him to identify his distinctive ball markings. 

"Using binoculars, the chief referee was satisfied that a ball with those markings was lodged in the tree. The player subsequently took an unplayable penalty drop (Rule 19.2c) at the point directly below on the ground. To clarify, the player was not asked to specify the tree but to identify his distinctive ball markings to confirm it was his ball."

In the event, the tree Reed hit was a little to the right of the one he took the drop from. However, the tee shot on the 17th is completely unsighted, so it is highly likely that he would have been told which tree he struck with his drive. 

Given the clarity on the incident first provided by the DP World Tour and now Reed, the American will surely be hoping that his suggestion to "get back to playing some golf" will be heeded. To that end, this week, Reed tees it up alongside a host of other LIV Golf players in the Saudi International.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.