Patrick Reed isn’t a hugely popular figure in golfing circles at the moment, and he may have dug himself in an even deeper hole when he faced reporters in Melbourne.
Speaking ahead of the Presidents Cup, the controversial American dismissed accusations that he had cheated during a recent event in the Bahamas.
Reed was sprung using his club to seemingly improve the lie of his ball as it sat in the bunker, brushing away some of the sand behind his ball.
The incident attracted heavy scrutiny, including from Australian counterpart Cameron Smith, who labelled the move as ‘cheating’.
But Reed knocked back the suggestion, insisting he had not intentionally sought to improve his lie - and that since his intentions were innocent, it was unfair to call him a cheat.
“It (cheat) is not the right word to use,” Reed said during Tuesday’s press conference.
“At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is.”
“If you’re intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.
“It’s just wrong, it’s just not right.”
Tiger Woods back embattled co-star
While Reed’s explanation for his actions certainly raised a few eyebrows, he found a vocal supporter in golfing legend Tiger Woods.
Woods, who is captaining Reed and the rest of the American team for the Presidents Cup, said he was confident the 29-year-old would be able to put the incident behind him.
"I think Pat will be fine," Woods said on Tuesday, before his team's first practice round.
"Pat is a great kid.
"He's handled a tough upbringing well and I just think that he's one of our best team players, and that's one of the reasons why all the guys wanted him on the team."