Andrew Coltart gives his verdict on the Patrick Reed bunker controversy and how the incident could impact Team USA at the Presidents Cup.

What was he doing? Well he was clearing a path to make it easier for his club to impact the ball. Whether he was doing it or intentionally or not, we will never know.

If that had happened back at your local golf club, there are certain words that would be banded about but the main reasons they’re not being used over here is the litigious nature of modern times.

It doesn’t matter whether Reed intended it or not, because he did it! There’s plenty of ambiguity because you can’t prove that the player knows the rule and it’s not like he’s going to turn around and go ‘yeah, I meant it’.

There’s no way you can prove intent, but there’s not many golfers out there that are doing things like that, because they have a higher respect for the rules of the game and their fellow competitors than he seems to have.

If you were the professional and you genuinely made that mistake and weren’t intending to do anything wrong, then as soon as you saw the footage you would immediately know that’s horrific and the conversation wouldn’t last longer than 30 seconds.

It was in a waste bunker so grounding of the club was okay, but I think the worrying thing is that this is not an isolated incident. There have been question marks before about Reed during his college career and it’s more than a little bit concerning.

Everyone is going to have his eye on him and that’s something that his fellow competitors are never going to be able to forgive him for, so there’s always going to be a significant doubt now.

That’s what happened on camera, but what is concerning for me is what is happening off camera. That would bother me as a player and is not a very good example about how to go about playing this game.

The American team will be aware of what has happened, as well as everyone in the sport, but for the sake of team success they will try and soak up as much of the Reed controversy as possible.

They will want this to have minimal impact on the team, although once they step away from that environment then I’d like to think his team-mates will come down hard on him. There’s no place for that in the game, full stop.

Reed’s peers can use the whole thing as fuel against him. If you get the opportunity to say something to somebody, whether that be a one-liner and try and gain an advantage, then you would do.

Whatever happens, the Australian fans will be absolutely loving it! The home crowds will get on top of the whole American side and in many ways it is 1up to the International side before the first shot is struck.

(c) Sky Sports 2019: Patrick Reed doubts will always remain after bunker controversy