Tiger Woods did his best to play a straight bat to questions about “cheating” as reporters pressed him ahead of the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
United States playing captain Tiger Woods has urged Presidents Cup golf fans to move on from the Patrick Reed cheating scandal that threatens to cast a shadow over the prestigious tournament in Melbourne this week.
Reed was caught violating the rules during the third round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Saturday.
The former Masters winner copped a two-stroke penalty for making improper swings in a waste bunker at the Woods-hosted event.
Australian golfers Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman both expected local fans to stick it to Reed at the Presidents Cup, being played at Royal Melbourne. But Woods was hopeful they would take a more mature approach.
“The fans down here are awesome. They’re into their sport,” Woods said. “Yes, I have talked to Pat about it. It’s behind us.
“We’re all into this week, we’re focused about trying to go against this great International team here. We’re in Australia, they’ve got a couple of Aussies on the team.
“But again, this is one of the greatest sporting countries in the world. They love their sport and I think that this will be a fantastic event.”
Woods did not expect the furore to affect his star-studded United States team.
“As we all know, Pat was penalised. That was it, end of story,” Woods said. “Unfortunately he missed the playoff by those two shots.”
At the Presidents Cup launch in Melbourne on Monday, Australian veteran Adam Scott wouldn’t be drawn on his thoughts on the cheating scandal.
CHECK OUT REED’S CONTROVERSIAL SWINGS IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE
“I guess it’s all kind of played itself out now,” Scott said. “They’ve dealt with it, the officials have dealt with it and we’re moving on.”
Scott is passing captain Ernie Els and Fijian legend Vijay Singh as he makes a record ninth Presidents Cup appearance for the International team. The 39-year-old has deliberately avoided trying to lay on too much advice for his younger teammates this week.
“I like the way this team’s shaped up,” Scott said.
“I think Ernie’s done an incredible job of guiding us into this position this week.
“Certainly with seven new guys on our team, I think that’s a real positive for us, a bit of fresh blood.
“They’re really ready to go, so I’m kind of really feeding off that young energy that’s running here this week.
“At the moment, I really don’t want to put too much in their heads.
“They’re young players, they’re here, they’ve qualified, they’re pretty good.
“I want to get the most out of them and I don’t want to influence them in any way unless they’ve really got a query.
“We’re just getting a feel for things at the moment, but hopefully I can be useful when needed.”