The Upshot: WGC-Cadillac, Round 4
March 10, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Patrick Reed captured his third PGA TOUR title with a stellar effort at Trump National Doral. (Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, Fla. -- A player dressed in a red shirt and black pants won Sunday at Trump National Doral, only it wasn’t the one some might have expected.
Except for maybe the player holding the trophy.
Patrick Reed birdied three of his first four holes then held on for a one-shot win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
It was the third victory in his last 14 starts for the 23-year-old, who shot even-par 72 and became the youngest winner of a WGC event. He also earned 550 FedExCup points and moved to No. 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I’ve worked so hard,” said Reed. “I’ve won a lot in my junior career, did great things in my amateur career, was 6-0 in match play at NCAAs, won NCAAs two years in a row, was third individually one year. Now I have three wins out here on the PGA TOUR.
“I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides for Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. I believe in myself -- especially after how hard I’ve worked -- that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire-to-wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”
Bold words, but Reed’s play has backed them up.
In his two previous wins on the PGA TOUR, he closed out 54-hole leads and did so again on Sunday. This time it came against a field that included the world’s top-ranked player, who was never a factor.
Playing in the group ahead of Reed, Woods bogeyed three of his first six holes and quickly fell out of contention. He shot 78 for his highest Sunday round ever and later said he was bothered by back spasms for a second straight week.
Reed, meanwhile, built a big lead then played conservative down the stretch and withstood late charges from Bubba Watson (68) and Jamie Donaldson (70), both of whom tied for second.
It was the kind of performance that was reminiscent of Woods in his heyday. So was Reed’s attire -- he wore red on Sunday of his first career win at the Wyndham Championship and has done it ever since.
"The best player ever to live when I was growing up wore black pants, a red shirt," Reed said. "I was growing 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."
And Reed’s history of closing the way Woods used to has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“I feel like I've had every situation that I've had to deal with coming down the stretch,” Reed said. “It's one of those things that I'm just building experience and also building confidence that when I get in these kind of situations, I can close deals.”
TIGER’S BACK: For the second straight week, Tiger Woods was bothered by back spasms.
This time, he was able to finish, unlike at PGA National, where he withdrew with five holes left in the final round.
Asked whether he would re-think his preparation leading into the Masters a month from now, Woods said, “I don't know. Just let me get through this day, you know, get some treatment and we'll assess it as time goes on.”
The spasms flared up on the sixth hole during Sunday’s final round after Woods was left with an awkward stance in a fairway bunker.
He is next scheduled to play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, where he has won eight times.
Tiger has only had 8 rounds w/out a birdie - pretty ridiculous stat. Anyone know how many I've had? had 1 on Friday 4 sure!! #JustCurious— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) March 10, 2014
SHOT OF THE DAY: Mark Immelman calls Patrick Reed's short bogey putt at 18 to win the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship at the redesigned Trump National Doral.
MONSTER COURSE: How difficult did the redesigned Trump National Doral play this week?
There were 318 balls hit into the water this week, obliterating the old record of 220 in 2004.
For the first two days, the scoring average was 73.8 and 76. Over the weekend those numbers dropped to 72.57 and 73.02, mostly due to weather and course setup.
Still, there were just seven bogey-free rounds all week, and just one each of the first two days.
The most difficult hole of the week was the par-4 seventh with a scoring average of 4.42. The par-5 eighth was the easiest at 4.73.