Golf’s civil war has taken a surprising turn with 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed suing leading commentator Brandel Chamblee for defamation.
According to the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Reed alleges that Chamblee and Golf Channel engaged in a series of “calculated, malicious, false and/or reckless attacks that had a direct effect” on the means Reed’s livelihood.
Reed claims to have “lost several multi-million dollar sponsorship deals” as a result of Chamblee’s comments. He is claiming $1.07 billion in damages.
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The 32-year-old, who is a nine-time PGA Tour winner, is one of several top players to sign with Greg Norman’s LIV Golf.
The lawsuit claims Chamblee and the Golf Channel have a “bizarre fixation” to “destroy” Reed’s reputation “by trying to fabricate the story that he is somehow a cheater.”
He alleges Chamblee’s comments have created a “hostile work environment” for Reed, with slurs such as “You cheat in college and on tour and you’re a piece of shit” directed at Reed by fans.
Reed was famously penalized two strokes at a tournament in 2019 for moving sand behind his ball, a controversy that dogged him through the Presidents Cup the following week in Melbourne, where his caddy was been involved in a fight with fans.
In 2020, commentator Peter Kostis claimed he personally witnessed Reed cheating four times.
The lawsuit alleges that Chamblee and Golf Channel are acting on behalf of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to “defamate and smear anyone associated with LIV.”
“It is well known on tour that Mr. Reed was abused and endured more than any other golfer by fans or spectators who were allowed to shout obscenities to be glorified by NBC’s Golf Channel for this, as it becomes Chamblee and Golf Channel’s ‘Clicks’, Viewership, Ratings and Revenue Growth,” the lawsuit reads.
“It doesn’t matter how badly they destroy someone’s name and life, as long as they make more dollars and profits.”
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