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Patrick Reed’s struggles at the 2019 Presidents Cup took a darker turn on Saturday, as his caddie Keddler Karain reportedly got into an “altercation” with a spectator at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
That altercation involved Karain punching the fan, per ESPN.
According to Golf Channel’s Steve Sands, the incident came after the golfer’s morning match loss alongside Webb Simpson. The home crowd was reportedly jeering him over an incident last week in which he appeared to get caught blatantly cheating at the Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas, as well as his 0-3 record at the event so far.
PGA Tour and event security are reportedly aware of the incident, and a meeting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is scheduled for Karain.
Hearing that Patrick Reed's caddie Kessler Karain will meet with Jay Monahan at 2:30 p.m. local time to discuss what went down. https://t.co/5lvV2FBs6t
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) December 14, 2019
Adding to the intrigue is that Karain is Reed’s brother-in-law. Karain defended his actions in a statement to ESPN, saying the fans crossed a line and it was his job to protect his sister’s husband. Notably, he did not admit to punching the fan, calling it a shove instead:
In a statement to ESPN's Michael Collins, Karain admitted to shoving a fan, who he said was just a few feet away from Reed and him as they were riding a cart and told the U.S. player, "You f------ suck."
"As a caddy one of your jobs is to protect your player. And unlike several other sports, in golf fans can get pretty close to Athletes," Karain said as part of his statement. "We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after hearing several fans in Australia for 3 days some had taken it too far, I had enough. And this gentleman was one of them.
"I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives. Security came and I got back in (the) cart and left. I don't think there's one caddy I know that could blame me."
The cheating incident at the Hero World Challenge has hung over Reed’s presence at the Presidents Cup, with fans using it to taunt a player who’s already widely disliked.
One of Reed’s opponents, Australian Cameron Smith, went as far as calling Reed’s defense of a misleading camera angle “bulls---,” saying he has no sympathy for cheaters and hoping the crowd “absolutely gives it” to Reed. Smith appears to have gotten his wish, and this is the result.
Reed was not active for the Saturday afternoon matches, though that was likely a product of his lopsided loss to C.T. Pan and Hideki Matsuyama in the morning.
The Tour released a very brief statement following Saturday’s final rounds announcing that Karain will not caddie for Reed on Sunday.
“I respect the Tour’s decision,” Reed said in a statement. “We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow.”
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