Brooks Koepka doesn’t mince words.
Given the opportunity to weigh in on the Patrick Reed bunker scandal for the first time publicly on Monday, Koepka was blunt. He says Reed cheated at the Hero World Challenge in December.
Reed has been the object of fierce criticism from around the golf world after he improved his lie in a bunker by moving sand with his club and didn’t self-report the violation. He was later assessed a two-stroke penalty for “removing or pressing down sand or loose soil” after video replay showed the violation.
Was he ‘building sand castles?’
While much of the golf world has already weighed in, the outspoken Koepka shared his thoughts for the first time during a SiriusXM interview on Monday.
“Was he cheating? host Sway Calloway asked Koepka.
“Yeah,” Kopeka responded. “I mean, I don’t know what he was doing, building sand castles in the sand. You know where your club is. I mean, I took three months off, and I can promise you I know if I touched sand. ... It’s one of these things where you know. If you look at the video, obviously he grazes the sand twice and then he still chops down on it.”
Koepka compares Reed to Astros
Koepka then went further, comparing Reed’s plight to that of the Houston Astros, who are embroiled in a massive cheating scandal over illegal sign stealing.
“I guess the Astros are going through that right now. [Owner] Jim Crane said it, when he got asked, ‘Is it cheating?’ And he said, ‘No, we just broke the rules.’ ... If you play the game you understand the rules. You understand the integrity that goes on. I mean, there’s no room for it.”
Reed said after that Dec. 5 round that he didn’t realize in the moment that he had moved sand.
“I didn’t feel it drag,” Reed told reporters. “But then when they brought it up to me, it definitely did drag some of the sand, and because of that it’s considered a two-stroke penalty.”
In case you missed it, here’s the video of the violation so you can judge for yourself.
A closer look at Patrick Reed’s two-stroke penalty during Round 3 of the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/z2aqkajnYq
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 7, 2019
Reed doesn’t like cheating accusations
Koepka could be tempting legal action with his comments. Reed doesn’t like being called a cheater.
His attorney sent Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee an order in December to refrain from insinuating that Reed cheated during his analysis, arguing that if Reed had been found intentionally cheating, he would have been disqualified rather than assessed a standard penalty for the violation.
Chamblee was not compelled by the order to sign a document agreeing not to insinuate again on the air that Reed had cheated.
Here’s guessing Koepka’s not too worried about Reed’s lawyers either.
More from Yahoo Sports: