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Reed punished with two-stroke penalty for improving lie

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Patrick Reed of the United States reacts during the Hero World Challenge in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Patrick Reed of the United States reacts during the Hero World Challenge in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Patrick Reed of the United States reacts during the Hero World Challenge in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Patrick Reed is no stranger to controversy and he drew more fire last night after he improved his lie in a waste area at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

The Texan (29) grounded his club twice behind his ball in a waste area at the 11th, brushing sand away from behind his ball as he made two practice swings.

Leading by three heading into last night's third round, he was eventually penalised two shots by officials, turning a bogey six at the 11th into a triple bogey eight en route to a 74 that left him three shots behind leader Gary Woodland on 10-under. Reed said he did not intentionally brush the sand but accepted the penalty after spending "four or five minutes" reviewing the video with officials.

"If I stood over something that I didn't intentionally do, at the end of the day it's my word versus their word and they weren't standing there, they had a camera angle," he said.

"Because of that, you don't really have a choice. But at the end of the day, after seeing it, after seeing the club go back and brush some sand they thought, considered that's a breach.

"In the Rules of Golf if you improve your lie, whether to set up and the ball moves or you set and something breaks taking practice swings, it's a penalty. At the end of the day you have to accept it and move on"

Woodland birdied his last two holes to card a 68 and lead by a shot on 13-under par from Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who shot 68.

But tournament host Tiger Woods remained on track to challenge for his sixth win in the event after closing with a birdie for a 67.

The Masters champion (43) made six birdies to lie joint third with Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm on 11-under par heading into today's final round, just two strokes off the lead.

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