Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – If you were to go head-to-head against
Patrick Reed, you better hope that it isn’t a Monday. That is Reed’s favorite
day of the week.
As a young professional in 2012, Reed Monday-qualified his way into six PGA
Tour events. That was his springboard to the tour. He earned his tour card for
2013, where he earned his first PGA Tour win and he hasn’t looked back since.
Reed holed out for eagle on the 16th at Kapalua to gain a share of the lead
with Jimmy Walker on Monday. The two eventually headed to a playoff, where
Reed birdied the first extra hole for his fourth tour title.
“Seven-for-nine,” Reed exclaimed afterward.
Meaning he has won, or Monday-qualified, seven of the nine times he competed
on Mondays on the PGA Tour. Would you want to battle him on a Monday?
Reed wasn’t as brash after this win as he had been after winning the WGC-
Cadillac Championship last year. After that victory, Reed said, “I think I’m
one of the five-best players in the world.”
He hasn’t reached that lofty perch quite yet, but he has climbed to 14th in the
new rankings. Those rankings are fickle and tend to reward consistently good
play. Five of the 13 players ranked ahead of Reed have fewer PGA Tour wins,
but of that group, only Jordan Spieth has been on tour for a shorter period.
This win gave Reed the most victories for any player on tour under the age of
25. It also put Reed in a select group with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and
Sergio Garcia as the only players in the last 20 years with four or more wins
at age 24 or younger.
Monday’s final round didn’t start off with Reed in the lead. In fact, he was
two back at the outset, and was four back by the time he reached the 15th tee.
There were plenty of fireworks down the stretch, though.
Reed reached the green at the par-5 15th in two shots and two putts later, his
birdie inched him within two as Walker, in the group behind Reed, bogeyed the
Two shots later, Reed’s deficit was gone. He holed an 80-yard wedge shot for
eagle to vault him alongside Walker at 21-under. But, there were still two
holes to play and plenty could happen.
Reed missed the green at the 17th and chipped to four feet. However, he missed
the short par effort and now needed birdie or eagle at the last hole to force
He reached the green at the monstrous 18th in two, but was nearly 80 feet from
the hole. Reed lagged his eagle try to tap-in range. After the birdie, it was
off to the scorers tent to see if Walker would seal the deal.
Walker, who parred 17, missed the green at No. 18 and hit a poor chip to boot.
He failed to convert his 17-footer for birdie, and that meant he and Reed were
headed to a playoff.
Reed against Walker, head-to-head, in a Monday playoff. It was almost as if
the result was known before they started the extra session.
Reed hit a poor tee shot, but got away with it. Walker hit a worse second
shot, and didn’t escape. Walker also hit a poor third, opening the door for
Reed, who drained a 19-foot putt for birdie and the win.
It helped Reed that Walker didn’t have his best stuff in the final round, but
Reed still needed to rally late in the round to give himself a chance.
At any future event Patrick Reed contends in, I wouldn’t want there to be any
weather delays to push the completion into Monday. You just know Reed would
come out on top of that event.
WALKER COUGHS UP TITLE CHANCE
Walker was going for his fourth PGA Tour win in the last 15 months, but an
even-par back nine did him in. And a couple of short putts were to blame.
Walker won three times in the 2013-14 season. That helped him soar up the
world rankings and earn a spot on his first Ryder Cup team among other things.
None of that mattered on Monday. Walker drained a clutch 8-foot par putt on
the sixth to keep his round going, but he couldn’t keep the momentum on the
Though that par save spurred Walker onto three straight birdies from the
eighth, that was all the birdies he could muster the rest of his round.
Walker missed a pair of birdie putts from inside 10 feet at the 15th and 16th.
If either of those putts fell, he would likely be the champion. Walker had two
longer birdie putts, 31 and 17 feet, on the final two holes and failed to
He made a mess of the playoff hole, including knocking his second shot into
the grandstands short, right of the green. That opened the door for his 2014
Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Reed to earn his fourth win.
Walker did post his 12th top-10 finish in his last 31 PGA Tour starts. That is
quite a remarkable turnaround from earlier his career, where he notched 19
top-10 finishes in 187 starts.
Obviously, something has started clicking for Walker.
Now, he just needs to regain that magic touch from last season.
* The European Tour kicks off its desert swing this week in Abu Dhabi, and
does so with a strong field. Four of the top-10 players and five of the top 12
from the latest world rankings are competing this week. World No. 1 Rory
McIlroy headlines that group. He will play again in two weeks in Dubai, then
will likely be off for a month after that.
* Robert Streb entered the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
like a pitcher entering the sixth inning of a no-hitter. Streb was bogey-free
for 36 holes, the only player in the field who could say that. After some
talk about that, Streb proceeded to bogey the first hole of the third round.
So much for the no-hitter, and bogey-free tournament. He posted three more
bogeys over his final 35 holes en route to sharing eighth place.