The four-time Major winner told the Golf Channel that it's like a hobby to kick Patrick Reed when he's down

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Rory McIlroy Defends Patrick Reed Over Two-Stroke Penalty

Rory McIlroy has stuck up for Patrick Reed after the American has faced criticised over his two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge.

The Northern Irishman was speaking on the Golf Channel where he said that he doesn’t “think it would be a big deal if it wasn’t Patrick Reed.”

Reed has faced criticisms on social media as well as from fellow pros, including one of his Presidents Cup opponents this week in Cameron Smith.

However, McIlroy has stuck up for his 2016 Ryder Cup singles opponent.

“It’s almost like, a lot of people within the game, it’s almost like a hobby to sort of kick him when he’s down,” the four-time Major winner told the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.

“I think the live shot isn’t as incriminating as the slow-mo.

“It’s hard, because you try to give the player the benefit of the doubt, right? He’s in there, he’s trying to figure out what way to play the shot.

“It’s almost like it’s obliviousness to it rather than anything intentful, in terms of trying to get away with anything.”

Whilst saying that, McIlroy did add that “it doesn’t make it right what he did.”

Reed defended his actions and also said that the Presidents Cup has now become personal after Cameron Smith’s words.

“It’s not the right word to use,” Reed said of Cameron Smith using the word ‘cheat’.

“At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is.

“If you’re intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.”

“It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it’s going to be a fun week,” he said of the Presidents Cup this week at Royal Melbourne.

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