Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Getting the right Reed

Updated: 2014-03-11 09:00
By Associated Press in Doral, Florida ( China Daily)

Patrick makes a little WGC history while Tiger continues to struggle

He wore black pants and a red shirt, his Sunday colors.

He took a lead into the final round, quickly expanded it with a pair of birdies and then relied on his short game to keep everyone chasing him. He even played it safe off the 18th tee, caring more about the trophy than the final score.

For years, that script belonged to Tiger Woods.

Patrick Reed followed it perfectly to win the Cadillac Championship, replacing Woods as the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship event.

"When I was growing up, the best player ever to live wore black pants and a red shirt," Reed said after closing with an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory at Doral.

"I grew up watching him. I always thought, 'You know, it would be cool to wear black and red coming down on Sunday.

"Just happens to be that we both wear it on Sunday now."

Only one of them stood out at the new Blue Monster.

Even with Woods and his red shirt only three shots behind and in the group directly in front of him, the 23-year-old Reed stretched his lead to four shots at one point until making a pair of bogeys in the final hour.

He held off Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson of Wales.

Woods, in his best chance this year to win a tournament, said his back flared up after an awkward shot out of the bunker on the sixth hole. He failed to make a birdie in the final round for the first time in his PGA Tour career, and his 78 was his worst Sunday score ever.

"Just let me get through this day, get some treatment and we'll assess it as time goes on," Woods said about his back.

He withdrew from the Honda Classic after 13 holes of the final round the previous week because of back spasms.

Reed has three wins in 14 starts and should move to No 20 in the world - but he feels his ranking should be even better. He cited an amateur career that included going 6-0 in matches to lead Augusta State to two NCAA titles, followed by three PGA Tour wins in seven months.

"I don't see a lot of guys that have done that besides Tiger Woods and the legends of the game," Reed said.

"I believe in myself, especially with how hard I've worked. I'm one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I've proven myself."

He joined some exclusive company. Since 1990, only Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia had three PGA Tour wins before turning 24.

Reed has had a share of the lead going into the final round of all three of his victories - the Wyndham Championship last August, the Humana Challenge in January and a World Golf Championship at Doral that featured the strongest field so far this year.

His last two wins were wire-to-wire, including ties.

Watson, who won at Riviera three weeks ago, went bogey-free over the final 27 holes, a strong performance on the overhauled Trump National. He closed with a 68, finishing at par after blasting through the palms, into the grandstand and back into the rough.

Donaldson wasn't so fortunate. He hit into a foot on the 17th for his third birdie on the back nine to get within one shot of the lead. From the 18th fairway - after watching Miguel Angel Jimenez go through the green and into the water - he blocked his approach away from the flag and into the back bunker. Donaldson then blasted out to just inside 15 feet and missed the par putt. He closed with a 70.

Reed finished at 4-under 284, matching Mark McCumber's 1985 score as the highest winning tally at Doral.

Reed pocketed $1.53 million, pushing his season total over $3 million, and he moved to No 3 in the Ryder Cup standings.

Woods raised more questions about his health - and his game - with the Masters just over a month away.

He beaned and bloodied a spectator on the opening hole and missed a 10-foot birdie putt. He beaned another spectator on No 3, kicking the ball back into the fairway. He followed that with a shot into the water before making bogey.

Woods made two more bogeys over the next three holes and said the pain intensified after his bunker shot on the sixth. He had his left foot in the sand and his right foot flexed against the lip of the bunker.

"That's what set it off and then it was done after that," he said. "I wanted to see if I could manage to keep the spasms at bay."

In four tournaments Woods has only twice gone 72 holes. He missed the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines, tied for 41st in Dubai and withdrew at the Honda Classic.

He is scheduled to make only one more start - Bay Hill in two weeks - before the Masters at Augusta National.

(China Daily 03/11/2014 page24)