For once, a rules situation involving Patrick Reed went incredibly smoothly, and it almost certainly won’t be something we’ll be re-litigating 10 months from now, or pouring 180 hours of research into.

Thankfully, this particular situation was as straightforward as they come, with Reed hitting his tee shot at Port Royal’s par-5 17th into a penalty area right of both the fairway bunkers and the cartpath.

Reed then proceeded to take his legal drop within two club lengths of where the ball crossed the red line, and he technically could have taken relief from there if he wanted since his feet were on the cartpath as he took his stance. But Reed played the shot that way anyway, probably because it was a good lie and taking relief would almost certainly have put him nearer to the penalty area he’d just dropped away from. Well, it must have been because his next shot, his third, went in the damn hole for eagle:

Entering this week, Reed had not looked like himself during the PGA Tour’s early-season tournaments, with a missed cut at the Shriners and a 68th-place finish in a 77-man field at the CJ Cup. But he came out strong on the opening day of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, as magical shots like the eagle above and this chip-in birdie below showed:

After the hole-out eagle, Reed wound up bogeying the 18th, but still finished with a solid three-under 68 that has him in a tie for 10th. He’s just three shots behind co-leaders Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey.

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PHOTO: Cliff Hawkins