(CNN) -- Golf can be a frustrating game -- just ask Patrick Reed.
The 24-year-old could be in trouble with golf's authorities after a foul-mouthed reaction to a missed putt during the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
Reed, who starred for America during its recent Ryder Cup defeat to Europe, was caught on camera swearing and using a term which could be deemed homophobic.
After making a bogey on the 10th hole at the Sheshan International, Reed was heard to say: "Nice f****** three-putt you f****** f****t."
Reed, who finished the opening round five shots behind leader Graeme McDowell -- his playing partner -- was quick to apologize on Twitter, but could now face sanctions.
The PGA Tour has rules that govern against poor language on the course, and it said in a statement they were aware of the situation.
"The PGA Tour's Conduct Unbecoming regulations prohibit the use of obscene language on the golf course," it said. "The PGA Tour will deal with this matter internally in accordance with its regulations."
Reed has enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2014, winning two events, including the WGC Cadillac Championship back in March.
After that victory -- the biggest of his career to date -- Reed compared himself to 14-time major champion Tiger Woods and declared himself to be "one of the top five players in the world."
He also caused controversy during his first appearance for the United States in its biennial team battle against Europe at the Ryder Cup, held in Scotland back in September.
Reed, who was unbeaten in his four matches at the competition, shushed the galleries during one of his matches, which earned him a chorus of boos from the home supporters.
Reed fully embraced his pantomime villain status and was lauded for his passion to the cause as Team USA slumped to a sixth defeat in the last seven tournaments.
"This is the best event I've ever played in my life," Reed told reporters after his debut appearance. "Just to get to know these guys and to be out here means a lot to me.
"I definitely want to be back and I'll definitely be trying even harder just to come back."
Northern Ireland's McDowell shot an opening round of 67 after recording seven birdies in 12 holes on Thursday at the the $8.5 million showpiece.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion leads by two shots from a clutch of players on three-under, including Rickie Fowler and reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, from Germany.
"A big key to this golf course is driving the ball well. I drove it very well today," McDowell told reporters.
"And the greens are in fantastic shape, and I actually putted very well. Dropped a couple coming in, but all in all, very pleased with five-under par on what I thought was a reasonably tricky day."