International team predicts tough time for Patrick Reed at Presidents Cup

Patrick Reed could be in for a long week in Australia in the aftermath of a rules-breaking controversy that occurred Friday at the Hero World Challenge.

Reed was due to arrive Monday morning in Melbourne with the rest of his U.S. teammates for the Presidents Cup. And a couple of members of the International team expect he'll face a public backlash.

"If you make a mistake maybe once, you could maybe understand but to give a bit of a bulls--- response like the camera angle ... that's pretty up there [inexcusable]," Aussie Cam Smith told reporters at the Australian Open, adding that he expects spectators to taunt Reed over the incident.

"I hope so," Smith said. "I don't have any sympathy for anyone that cheats.

"I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him but everyone [on the American team] next week."

Reed was penalized 2 strokes Friday -- and eventually ended up 2 strokes back of winner Henrik Stenson -- when he twice took practice swings in a sandy waste area, with sand visibly being removed with the club from behind the ball.

Although a player is allowed to ground the club in such an instance, the act of swinging the club and removing sand is deemed "improving the lie or line of play," a violation of Rule 8.1a(4).

Reed said afterward that replays did not show how much space there was behind his club and the sand; but given the replay he was shown, Reed said he was given no choice but to accept the penalty.

"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 anyone's cheating the rules, I'm not up for that," Smith said.

Marc Leishman is another player who noted it could cause Reed some grief.

"Yeah, I did see it, and it looked pretty ordinary, to be honest," he told reporters at the Australian Open. "That's probably all I've got to say about that. It didn't look too good for him."

Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, is not helped by the fact that he has been involved in some high-profile incidents, including his criticism of captain Jim Furyk after the U.S. Ryder Cup loss in France last year.

A seven-time winner, the 29-year-old Reed was also the subject of various reports of cheating while he played college golf at the University of Georgia. Reed later transferred to Augusta State and was a member of two national championship teams.

"Honestly, I haven't been paying attention to what's been going on in the media," Reed said after finishing third at the Hero World Challenge. "For me, it was just something that I'm going out there to play the best golf I can. At the end of the day, after I didn't feel like in the ... while I was there playing the hole, that I really did any kind of rules infraction, but then afterwards seeing it on camera, there was [rules official] Slugger [White], and I sat down and Slugger said that you have to take 2 strokes. After seeing it on camera and seeing sand move, obviously it's a penalty. So at that point I had to accept it and move on. I mean, the last thing you can do is let it dwell, especially when you have 18 holes left to go because you still have a chance to win a golf tournament. You're only 3 back, so you have to go out and play a solid round of golf, which I did, but at the same time, it's not going to be enough."

Reed has a strong record in the team competitions, and he was one of captain Tiger Woods' four at-large selections.