At the end of January, author and writer Shane Ryan published an excerpt about Patrick Reed from his upcoming book, “Slaying the Tiger: A year inside the ropes on the new PGA Tour.” In the piece, Ryan wrote that while Reed was a member of the golf team at the University of Georgia, there were suspicions from his teammates that he cheated in a qualifying round and stole money, along with other items. When Reed was kicked out, he transferred to Augusta State University, where his teammates also accused him of cheating, which led to a suspension.
Well, now, Reed is challenging these well-sourced claims. Following the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that the cheating and stealing allegations from the book were not true and sent letters to Ballantine Books, which is part of Random House Publishing Group, and Ryan, demanding a retraction.
“I was shocked,” said Reed, who has won four times on the PGA Tour. “That was the first time I heard about it. To read something like and see how degrading and false it is, to have someone say something like that without coming to me first and asking me, it’s shocking.”
Reed also said he has signed affidavits from Chris Haack, the head coach at Georgia, and Josh Gregory, who was his coach at Augusta State, to back him up. The precise contents of the sworn statements have yet to be revealed, but Reed is adamant that they clear his name.
“Both (coaches) said this is never in question and I was never suspended for it or kicked out of school for it. Nothing,” said Reed. “The main thing is we want to set the record straight. We wanted to let everyone know none of that stuff is true, all of it is false.”
In the interview with Lewis, Reed said Ryan claimed that he was kicked out of Georgia for cheating and stealing, but that wasn’t the case — he was booted for two drinking incidents. Thing is, Ryan never wrote that Reed was ousted for the former; he noted that the drinking incidents led to Reed’s dismissal.
Reed implied that he was willing to take legal action against Ballantine Books and Ryan if the part of the book in question is not removed prior to its release date.
“All options are open. We’re not 100 percent sure on that yet,” he said.
However, Ryan remains true to the facts of his story, tweeting Sunday night, “Just want to say quickly here that I stand behind my reporting 100%, and I also stand behind the truth of what I wrote.”
An interesting element of all this is that a former Augusta State golfer Taylor Floyd, who was teammates with Reed, reached out to Ryan via Twitter on Sunday night.
@ShaneRyanHere Shane my man. Just saw our boy p reed spitting some garbage thru his teeth on the golf channel. Hit me up
— Floyd (@TFloyd22) March 9, 2015
The above tweet—now deleted—was retweeted by three other Augusta State golfers from Reed’s era, Derek Chang, Carter Newman, and Mitch Krywulycz.
The below screenshot shows Floyd’s timeline from last night. He also tweeted to Ryan, “You’re not the only one who wants this dude’s nonsense to come to light.”
Floyd has since deleted that tweet, but then he also tweeted to Reed, “#goshen 2 days in a row a brah.”
“Goshen” is a course in Augusta.