Kessler Karain (left) said one of his jobs is to defend Patrick Reed (right). (AAP: Scott Barbour)
The caddy of controversial golfer Patrick Reed has admitted to shoving a spectator at the Presidents Cup golf at Royal Melbourne.
- Fans have been heckling Patrick Reed over cheating accusations from a tournament last week
- His caddy, Kessler Karain, said one fan shouted “you f***ing suck” at Reed
- Karain admitted he also “said a couple things, probably a few expletives”
The American star has received regular booing and general heckling from the crowd since Thursday, over allegations of cheating by Reed during a tournament last week.
In a statement to the Fore Play podcast, Kessler Karain responded to reports of a physical altercation at the course on day three of the team event.
He admitted he “shoved” an abusive punter, but said it was not an overly explosive confrontation.
“As a caddy, one of your jobs is to protect your player. And unlike several other sports, in golf fans can get pretty close to athletes,” Karain wrote in his statement to the Barstool Sports podcast.
“We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after hearing several fans in Australia for three days some had taken it too far. And this gentleman was one of them.
“Riding on the cart, guy was about three from Patrick and said, ‘you f***ing suck’. I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives.”
“Security came and I got back in [the] cart and left.”
Karain said no caddy he knows would blame him for what he did.
“Unless his bones break like Mr Glass, the most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I’m more than happy to reimburse him for,” he said.
The fans at Royal Melbourne were riled up by Australians Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, who drew attention to the scandal from the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, when Reed copped a two-stroke penalty for moving sand from behind his ball with two practice swings while in a bunker.
Leishman described Reed’s actions as “pretty ordinary”.
“It didn’t look too good for him,” he said.
“There’s opportunities there [to sledge Reed]. As long as it’s not disrespectful. You never want to cross the line but there’s some pretty good ammo there, isn’t there?”
Smith said Reed’s response — claiming he made a mistake but did not intentionally try to improve his lie and saying that the camera angle was deceptive — was “bullshit”, adding he had no “sympathy for anyone that cheats”.
“I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone [on the American team] next week,” he said.
Smith did, however, say he and his teammates on the international team “would tell the crowd to settle down a bit” if things got too hectic.
There have been reports of a minor physical interaction on the course between Smith and Reed this week.