SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A contrite Patrick Reed vowed to clean up his verbal act after a microphone caught him muttering a profanity during the first round at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.
The remark, which the American Ryder Cup player directed to himself after he three-putted at his 10th hole at Sheshan on Thursday, was heard around the world during the live television coverage.
"At the level I’m playing nowadays you can’t have outbursts and unfortunately I did and it happened to be on camera,” Reed, 24, told reporters after the second round on Friday.
"I made a stupid error. Never should have happened. All I can do is just learn from it and move on.
"I'm young and growing up, I had temper issues, on and off the golf course. I live and die through every shot.
"I love the game so much, and I expect perfection, but no one is ever going to be perfect in this game. It's just one of those things that I have to learn how to deal with. It got the best of me this week."
Before shooting a second round 73 to sit tied 27th at level par for the tournament, Reed issued a mea culpa on his Twitter account in an effort to contain the potential fallout. He may face a fine from the PGA Tour.
"My passion to play well got the best of me and my word choice was unacceptable," the world number 25 tweeted.
The ability of modern microphones to pick up comments players would rather keep private is an occupational hazard, and world number two Adam Scott had only a limited amount of sympathy for Reed.
"If you don’t want to be heard saying it, don’t say it," Scott, whose squeaky clean image is loved by sponsors, told Reuters.
"It will be a lesson learned for Patrick. We’ve all lost our temper. I did when I was young."
Editing by Patrick Johnston