DORAL, Fla. – Patrick Reed told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on Sunday after the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship that he plans to challenge the publication of a new book that claims he stole from teammates and cheated during a qualifying round while attending the University of Georgia.
The book, entitled “Slaying the Tiger: A year inside the ropes on the new PGA Tour,” was authored by Shane Ryan who wrote in an excerpt published on Jan. 30 on the website tobaccoroadblues.com that, according to anonymous sources, Reed stole a Scotty Cameron putter and $400 cash, and that he cheated during a qualifying round while he played for the Bulldogs.
Reed told Lewis his lawyers intend to send a letter to Ballantine Books, which is part of Random House Publishing Group, and Ryan requesting that portion of the book be retracted.
“I was shocked. That was the first time I heard about it. To read something like and see how degrading and false it is, to have someone say something like that without coming to me first and asking me, it’s shocking,” Reed said.
Reed denied the allegations and said he has affidavits from Chris Haack, the head coach at Georgia, and Josh Gregory – who was his coach at Augusta (Ga.) State, where he transferred after two “drinking incidences” in Athens, Ga. – that contradict Ryan’s claims.
“Both [coaches] said this is never in question and I was never suspended for it or kicked out of school for it. Nothing,” he said. “The main thing is we want to set the record straight. We wanted to let everyone know none of that stuff is true, all of it is false.”
Reed left the door open to a potential legal challenge, telling Golf Channel that if Ryan and Ballantine Books do not remove the disputed portion from the book, “All options are open. We’re not 100 percent sure on that yet,” he said.
That said, Ryan does not appear to be backing down, tweeting Sunday night: “Just want to say quickly here that I stand behind my reporting 100%, and I also stand behind the truth of what I wrote.”