Patrick Reed believes beating a star-studded field to capture the WGC-Cadillac Championship at the Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral on Sunday shows he is among the top five players in the world.
The 23-year-old American said his impressive amateur resume, combined with his three wins on the PGA Tour in seven months, put him among the game’s elite.
“I’ve worked so hard. I won a lot in my junior career, did great things in my amateur career, was 6-0 in match play at NCAAs [National Collegiate Athletic Association golf events], won NCAAs two years in a row ... and now I have three wins out here on the PGA Tour,” said Reed, who shot a closing even-par 72 to win the event by one stroke on Sunday.
“I don’t see a lot of guys who have done that other than Tiger Woods and the legends of the game. I am one of the top five players in the world. I feel I have proven myself.”
While Reed, currently world No 20, basks in the glow of his latest victory, Tiger Woods was left to pick up the pieces after one of the worst Sundays of his career.
Woods stumbled to the finish with a six-over 78. Having won this event for the seventh time in 2013, he played this year’s event through the nagging pain of a bad back.
Reed finished at four under 284 in the US$9 million tournament to beat runner-ups Welshman Jamie Donaldson and American Bubba Watson.
Donaldson shot a two-under 70 to grab a share of second along with 2012 runner-up Watson, who had a four-under 68.
Donaldson made birdie on No. 17 to get within one shot of the lead, but he bogeyed 18.
South Africa’s Richard Sterne (71) and American Dustin Johnson (72) tied for fourth at even-par 288. Stephen Gallacher (69), Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (68) and Bill Haas (71) were one stroke back on plus-one.
Woods and Jim Furyk were the only two players without a birdie in the final round.
Woods struggled to even finish his round as he shot the worst Sunday score of his career.
He says he suffered from back spasms, which began after a tricky bunker shot at the sixth, although things had started to go south on Woods even before that, including on his opening hole at the Blue Monster course at Doral, when he bloodied a spectator with a wayward shot.
Woods, who was just three shots behind the leaders after the third round, made bogey on No 3 after again hitting a spectator and then finding the water.
“I was done after that,” Woods said of the pain that set in after his bunker shot on the sixth. “I was just trying to keep the spasms at bay.
Reed needed a conservative finish after he made bogey on two of his final five holes and played an iron off the 18th tee.
He says the win, which was worth US$1.52 million to him, will give him a huge confidence boost.
“To come out like this go wire to wire I feel like I proved myself,” said Reed. “I hit the ball so good this week and my putting was outstanding.”