Patrick Reed shows off resilience with impressive five-shot win at the Farmers Insurance Open
Patrick Reed was proud of how he overcame a star-studded leaderboard and final-round nerves to end a weekend of controversy with Farmers Insurance Open victory.
Reed registered a ninth PGA Tour title in impressive fashion at Torrey Pines, posting a four-under 68 on the final day to pull clear of the field and cruise to a dominant five-stroke victory.
The former Masters champion took a share of the lead heading into Sunday and never left top spot throughout the final day, with a final-hole birdie seeing him end the week on 14 under and completing the largest victory of his PGA Tour career.
“I knew coming into today was going to be a grind, especially with that leaderboard and seeing how many big names were right around there at the top,” Reed said after his victory. “I knew you were going to have to go out and play on the offence. You couldn’t play defence, you had to go out there and shoot a number.
“It was a little kind of shaky there early on in the beginning, kind of a couple shots that seemed to kind of get a little bit away from me, but I was able to rely on the short game early and get in a groove there in the middle of the round.
“I had more nerves today than I did during the final round at Augusta because I was in a different spot; still working on the swing, still not fully where we want it to be. But the hard work that my team is going through and working with me on trying to dial it in, get it where it is right now is amazing.”
The contentious incident of the week came on the tenth hole of his third round, when Reed picked up his ball before calling over a rules official to confirm it had embedded in the thick grass.
None of Reed’s group or the nearby volunteer saw his ball bounce, enabling him to a free drop and helping him to save par, although TV replays showed it had actually taken one hop before settling into the rough.
“The biggest thing is I was allowed to kind of put it behind me when the head rules official came up and said you did everything you were supposed to do,” Reed added. “When you do everything you’re supposed to do, at the end of the day that’s all you can control.
“Going into today, I felt good, I felt confident and really went to the golf course, plugged in my headphones and just kind of got in my world with my coach and got to that first tee.”
Reed’s closest challenge for most of the final round came from Viktor Hovland, who briefly held a share of the lead before three bogeys over his last five holes saw the Norwegian having to settle for a closing 71 and tied-second.
“On the back [nine] I didn’t really feel like I played bad at all, it was just a couple of mistakes and it’s so easy to just let things kind of slip away,” Hovland said after his final round.
“It was cool to be up there having a chance to win. Didn’t work out this time, but I feel like I learned a lot and look forward to next week. I feel like my game has been trending in a good way, so I just need to keep working on the things I need to and hopefully next time I can just get it rolling a little bit more my way.”
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