MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian Cameron Smith has said he has lost any friendship he had with Patrick Reed after criticizing the American for his controversial bunker penalty in the Bahamas last week.
Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie when he moved sand with his practice swing on Friday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, earning a rebuke from Smith, who accused the former Masters champion of “cheating the rules”.
On Tuesday, Reed strenuously denied he had cheated, telling reporters he had inadvertently improved his lie.
Smith declined to row back on his criticism on Wednesday after practice at Royal Melbourne ahead of Thursday’s opening round of the Presidents Cup.
“I’m sure he didn’t like it,” Smith, a member of the Internationals team to play the United States, told reporters.
“I think there is a little bit of tension there. I’ve looked at Patrick a couple of times but he hasn’t looked back.
Smith’s International team mates have also put the heat on Reed, saying the bunker incident might make the former Masters champion a target of scorn from the crowds at Royal Melbourne.
Smith, who shared a physio with Reed, said he had “friendly” locker room chats with the American in the past but would not be going out of his way to approach him.
“I think our friendship, I guess, is not quite there any more,” Smith said.
He also said he was not trying to motivate his team by calling Reed out.
“I don’t think it’s really a case of team versus team or that type of thing,” he said.
“I just think it’s a case of what’s right and what’s wrong. I think there’s something to be said about that.”
Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan