Golfer Patrick Reed captures Humana Challenge with wire-to-wire victory
American Patrick Reed won his second US PGA Tour in as many career seasons, firing a final-round one-under par 71 on Sunday to win the Humana Challenge by two shots.
Reed led from start to finish to capture the US$1 million top prize at the US$5.7 million event played over three courses at the PGA West complex in Palm Springs, California, the last round over the Palmer Course.
The only other wire-to-wire winner in the event’s 55-year history was Rik Massengale in 1977.
Reed finished 72 holes on 28-under 260 to defeat Ryan Palmer, who fired a 63 on Sunday to finish on 262 with Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard sharing third on 263 on an all-American leaderboard.
“You can get in trouble if you get too aggressive out here,” Reed said. “Sundays are a little harder and I wanted to post a decent number and I did enough today.”
Reed, 23, joined Harris English and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy as the US PGA Tour’s only multiple winners under 25.
The first victory of Reed’s career came last August when he took the title at Greensboro as a rookie in the last event before the season-ending play-offs.
Jack Nicklaus, the all-time record holder with 18 major titles, was the only younger winner in the event’s history, taking the 1963 triumph five months younger than Reed and just 13 days past his 23rd birthday.
Reed, who matched the best round of his career with 63s in each of the first three rounds, began the day with a seven-stroke edge on compatriots Charley Hoffman and Brendon Todd.
Palmer put the pressure on him with seven birdies and a closing eagle in a bogey-free final round.
Reed birdied the par-five second, took bogey at the par-three fifth, birdied the par-five sixth and then went bogey-birdie again at 7-8 and to begin the back nine.
Another bogey at the par-three 12th dropped him within reach of a closing charge but he finished with five pars and a birdie at the par-three 15th to hold off the threats of Palmer, Leonard and Johnson, who fired a 62.
“I told my caddie I’m not watching scoreboards until the back nine. That’s when I would change my game plan if needed,” Reed said. “I felt like I got off to a great start. Once I got to back nine, I kind of coasted.”
The victory was expected to jump Reed, 73rd in the world rankings, safely into the top 45, likely assuring him a spot in next month’s 64-player World Golf Championships Match Play championship.