Patrick Reed wins the Tournament of Champions
On Monday at Kapalua, Patrick Reed was able to force a playoff with Jimmy Walker after a final round 67, winning it on the first playoff hole with a birdie and taking the opening event on the PGA Tour in 2015, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
With just a few holes left for the leaders at Kapalua, it looked like Walker’s tournament to lose and if anyone was going to take it from him, it was likely to be his playing partner, Hideki Matsuyama, but cue Reed on the 16th:
That hole out for eagle gave Reed a share of the lead and after a bogey-birdie finish, Reed posted -21 in the clubhouse to finish one ahead of Jason Day who fired a ridiculous final round 62. Behind him, Walker had bogeyed the 14th and couldn’t hit anything with the putter coming in, making par on the 18th to get into a playoff with Reed, while Matsuyama couldn’t join them in the extra session after missing a six footer for birdie.
In the playoff, Reed missed the fairway and couldn’t get his approach near the green, while Walker was in great shape off of the tee, but he sent his approach well right and into the rough. After Reed pitched to about 18 feet, Walker couldn’t get his effort to stay on the green, giving Reed the chance to win with birdie:
What The Win Means For Reed
It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of Patrick Reed over the past eighteen months. He’s gone from promising young player to arrogant talent to Ryder Cup stud, but for all of the controversy that has seemed to follow Reed around, there’s been one constant that everyone agrees on: Reed is really, really good.
Impressive company to say the least, and he’ll jump back up to 14th in the Official World Golf Rankings. It was interesting after the round when he was interviewed by Steve Sands and he was asked about his confidence level. Reed didn’t shy away from it, but he was a little more guarded and refrained from saying anything that people like me could make a story out of, which as we know, is a stark contrast to what happened about nine months ago. As good as he is, it’s worth mentioning that after his last win at Doral, Reed struggled, posting just two top-10’s until the Ryder Cup where he was pretty much the lone bright spot in another European drubbing of the United States. I’m not sure if it was the weight of what he said in the aftermath of Doral that caused him to lose it, but after this win, there’s going to be an added layer of expectation that he needs to ready to meet. It’s going to be fascinating to watch.
One more thing about his round on Monday: After making that eagle on 16, Reed made a bit of a mess of the 17th, and needed to hit this putt to save par.
I know the 18th at Kapalua isn’t the most difficult hole in the world, but it was still impressive to see Reed bounce back as quickly as he did after giving one away so easily on the previous hole. You could see on the 18th tee too that he wasn’t exactly thrilled with himself either, and just like at the Ryder Cup, he bounced back. That kind of quality is hard to quantify, but knowing that he seems to feed off of mistakes like that is a very positive thing in my book.
Already showed Reed’s holeout, so take a look at this wedge from Jason Day’s third round. Incredible touch.
Even the beautiful swing of Hideki Matsuyama results in a dropped club from time to time.
- I know he didn’t close it out, but Jimmy Walker really impressed me. I thought that there was going to be a bit of a letdown after last season and that could still happen, but so far, it doesn’t look like that’s the case.
- Hideki Matsuyama will be just fine too. Predicting wins are usually a bad idea, but I really believe he wins multiple times in 2015.
- I’m sure that if you tallied up the airtime from this week, the whales in the ocean got more airtime than at least half of the field.
- On Bubba’s week:
- Pretty great week for Sang-moon Bae finishing solo sixth despite his conscription saga.
- When you have the current FedEx Cup champion promote your merch, you’re doing something right:
- People seem to say it every year about him, but it really feels like 2015 could be a big year for Jason Day, who was absolutely on fire on Monday, especially with the putter. His scorecard:
- Still trying to figure out why this tournament went from Friday to Monday.
- Patrick, you played great, but get the tan line dealt with please.
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