Reed proves he belongs
PATRICK REED felt he belongs among the best in the world. He beat them all yesterday in the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla.
Dressed in a red shirt that he always wears in the final round - with Tiger Woods in the group ahead of him - Reed made back-to-back birdies early on the front nine to build a big lead and showed off a great short game when the pressure was building on the new Blue Monster.
Equipped with a two-shot lead, the 23-year-old Texan wisely played the final hole conservatively. He two-putted for bogey and closed with an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson of Wales.
Reed, who finished at 4-under 284, became the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship. It was his third win in his last 14 tournaments.
Woods, only three shots behind going into the final round in his best chance this year to win a tournament, said his back flared up after an awkward shot out of the bunker on the sixth hole. He failed to make a birdie in the final round for the first time in his PGA Tour career, and his 78 was his worst Sunday score ever.
He is scheduled to make only one more start - Bay Hill in 2 weeks - before the Masters at Augusta National.
Reed is expected to go to No. 20 in the world ranking. In his own ranking, he feels he belongs in the top five.
He cited an amateur career that includes going 6-0 in matches to lead Augusta State to two NCAA titles, followed by three PGA Tour wins in 7 months.
"I don't see a lot of guys that have done that besides Tiger Woods and the legends of the game," Reed said. "I believe in myself, especially with how hard I've worked. I'm one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I've proven myself."
He joined some exclusive company. Since 1990, only Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia had three PGA Tour wins before turning 24.
In other tournaments
* At Haikou, China, Inbee Park captured her first win of the year in a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 in women's golf at the World Ladies Championship.
Park, who holds the top spot, closed with a 6-under 67 for a five-shot 24-under 268 victory over Suzann Pettersen in a Ladies European Tour event.
Pettersen, who started the final round tied for the lead, closed with a 72. So Yeon Ryu had a 69 and finished alone in third.
* At Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Chesson Hadley won the Puerto Rico Open for his first PGA Tour victory, holding off Danny Lee by two strokes.
The 26-year-old Hadley birdied the final two holes for a 5-under 67 to finish at 21-under 267.