In the latest development of the Patrick Reed saga, a former Augusta State teammate has agreed to provide his account of Reed’s suspension for the first two events of the 2009-10 season, which occurred following his transfer to the school from the University of Georgia.
To give you an update on the events that have unfolded recently: At the end of January, author/writer Shane Ryan published an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour,” detailing accusations made against Reed for cheating and stealing during his college days at UGA and Augusta State. Reed responded by giving an interview to Golf Channel, where he denied these allegations, and stated that he had affidavits from both his college coaches explicitly stating they were false.
As detailed here Tuesday, the “affidavit” from UGA men’s golf head coach Chris Haack is not actually an affidavit, but a statement that Reed’s lawyers used to play semantics — it also does not refute anything that Ryan wrote in his excerpt. In addition, Jason Payne, who was an assistant coach at Georgia during Reed’s era, released a statement saying that Ryan’s description of Reed’s time at UGA was accurate, “including the suspicions of his teammates.”
The final part of Reed’s claims that had not yet been challenged involved his time at Augusta State. Ryan stated that Reed had been suspended for cheating, and Reed denied those claims. I wrote on Monday about the reaction of Reed’s former ASU teammates via Twitter. One player wrote that Reed was “spitting some garbage,” and three other teammates from Reed’s era retweeted that sentiment. Josh Gregory’s affidavit, which supposedly claimed that Reed had *not* been suspended for reporting wrong scores during qualifying rounds, has not yet been unveiled.
On Wednesday, however, a former teammate of Reed’s agreed to speak about the series of events that led to the suspension. This is the first time anyone from Augusta State has agreed to tell the full story. The player, whose identity was verified, spoke on the condition his name not be used.
These are the facts, according to his statements, which I’ve broken up into eight sections:
1. When the Augusta State team found out that Gregory was recruiting Reed in 2009, they had their hesitations, because they knew his reputation. Some team members were friends with the Georgia players, from childhood and junior golf, so the stories about Reed’s time at Georgia had made their way to ASU. But they decided to welcome him with open arms when he arrived for the 2009-10 season, hoping he’d prove them wrong if given a second chance.
2. Before the team’s first tournament, during a qualifying round at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Reed was playing with a teammate. It was normal for the players not to use score cards, and to relay their scores to Josh Gregory, the coach, when the round had finished. Reed texted his score, and the teammate noticed that it was the wrong score—one shot lower than Reed had actually shot. He said nothing at the time, but told his teammates. The teammates took no action at that point.
3. In the very next qualifying round, either the next day or two days later, Reed was playing at Goshen Plantation, this time with Mitch Krywulcyz, Taylor Floyd, and Brendan Gillins. Krywulcyz was responsible for relaying their scores to Gregory, and once again, Reed told him a score that the team believed to be incorrect. After the round, the teammates discussed the score and confirmed what they believed, that Reed’s announced score had been lower than the actual score. Krywulcyz called Reed, who backed up the score he had given Krywulcyz. At that point, the players agreed that something strange was happening—given Reed’s reputation, two false scores in a row raised suspicions.
4. At that point, the team went to Gregory, and they held a meeting with Reed. Sitting at a long table with Gregory at one end and Reed at the other, the group went over both of his practice rounds hole-by-hole, and found that Reed’s stated score had been incorrect on both occasions. Reed reacted defensively, and when the teammates advised him to admit that he’d been shaving scores on purpose—since they’d respect him more if he was honest—he refused, and became angry. He was especially aggressive with the teammate from the first round, who was described as “easily the nicest guy on the team.” It was at this point that the team lost respect for Reed. He continued to insist he had simply added incorrectly, but after “mistakenly” shaving strokes for two rounds in a row, he never erred again in his two years at Augusta State.
5. Shortly after, Gregory and the team met without Reed. Gregory explained what would happen if they decided to kick Reed out—this would be the second controversial ending for him at a school, and would likely have ended his college career, since no team would be willing to pick him up after that. Gregory seemed to feel sorry for Patrick. At that point, the team held a vote, and they chose unanimously to kick Reed off the team. Gregory accepted their decision, and seemed to respect it.
6. After that vote, Gregory sought advice from at least two friends. Bill Reed, Patrick’s father, also came by during this time to speak with Gregory. The coach held another team meeting shortly after, and told the players that Reed would not be kicked off the team, but would be suspended for the first two events for what he’d done. However, he would play in the third event, even though he hadn’t qualified. The players were angry at Gregory for going back on his word, and for not respecting their vote. Also, they were upset that Reed would play in the third event despite the fact that the qualifying event hadn’t even been held yet.
7. The players briefly considered not playing if Patrick remained on the team. In the end, individual meetings were set up in Gregory’s office where Patrick apologized to each player on the team, and asked them each if they would take him back. He still did not admit to shaving strokes on purpose, and only apologized for his “behavior.”
8. After that, the relationships were strained. His teammates did their best to get along with him, and Augusta State went on to win two national titles, in which Reed posted a perfect 6-0 match play record.