Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed is set to be punished by the PGA Tour after a foul-mouthed outburst on the opening day of the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

While playing partner Graeme McDowell claimed a two-shot lead with a five-under-par 67 at Sheshan International - despite dropping two shots in the last six holes - Reed was turning the air blue.

Reed was just four off the pace after a round of 71, but the American faces a hefty fine after being caught on camera not only swearing at himself, but also using language which could be interpreted as being homophobic.

Television commentators swiftly apologised after Reed was clearly heard saying "Nice f****** three-putt you f****** f****t," after a bogey on the first hole, his 10th of the day. Ironically, Reed also attracted attention on his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles for indicating to the crowd to keep quiet by putting a finger to his lips during his singles win over Henrik Stenson.

A PGA Tour spokesperson later said: "The PGA Tour's Conduct Unbecoming regulations prohibit the use of obscene language on the golf course. The PGA Tour will deal with this matter internally in accordance with its regulations."

The PGA Tour has a policy of not disclosing any disciplinary sanctions it issues.