Reed was involved in another controversy on Sunday when his tee shot at the 17th hole in the Dubai Desert Classic became lodged inside a palm tree. Reed used binoculars in order to identify the markings on the ball.
Reed wouldnt have been able to identify his ball if he didnt. He would have had to go back to his tee to hit the third shot. Instead, he was awarded an unplayable shot that fell below the trees. He made a Bogey 5.
Reed shot a 3-under-69 Sunday and is now 11 under after 54 holes. McIlroy shot 7under 65 on Sunday to take a 3-shot lead heading into Mondays final rounds.
Reed stated that he was 100% certain he saw his ball in the palm limb after he finished his round.
Reed stated, I would have gone back the tee if it wasnt 100%. I was lucky to be able to see through the binoculars. Its important to verify that its your golf ball. I mark my golf balls with an arrow because the Pro VI, the Pro VI, has the arrow on its end stop before it. This allows you to see the arrow.
And you could clearly see and identify that line with the arrow at the end, and the rules officials, luckily were there to confirm and check it to ensure it was mine.
Sundays statement by DP World Tour clarified this ruling: Two off-course referees as well as several marshals confirmed that Patrick Reeds ball was lodged in a tree after he had hit his tee shot. The DP World Tour chief referee accompanied the player to the area and asked him for his unique ball markings. The chief referee used binoculars to confirm that the ball had those markings.
The player then took an unplayable penalty (Rule 19.2c) at point directly below the ball on to the ground. To clarify, the question was not for the player to identify the tree, but rather to identify his unique ball markings to confirm that it was his.