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By : BGA Proshop
Patrick Reed wins The Northern Trust at Liberty National, his first win since claiming The Masters back in 2016. It has been a difficult road since winning the green jacket, one which he had to take 10 days off not touching a golf club.
“I didn’t want to see the golf clubs,” he said but the break seems to have done him some good.
“I almost felt like I pressed harder and worked harder and tried harder and therefore, it made me physically and mentally drained,” he said. “I kind of went the wrong direction and that's why I felt like I needed the break.”
“I come back and I’m hitting the ball farther. I have a clear picture on what I’m trying to do and all of a sudden, I come out and I start hitting the ball where it’s supposed to go,” Reed said. “I’m starting to think clearly while I’m out there (on the course) and … the game starts turning around.”
Reed started the day with a one-shot lead over playing partner Abraham Ancer. Ancer himself was looking for his first PGA Tour title and if his name sounds familiar to our Australians readers, that is because Ancer won the 2018 Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in New South Wales.
Both players got off to a shaky start and with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Jordan Speith and Adam Scott in the chasing pack we were hoping for a shootout but never really eventuated as they didn’t go low enough to worry the leader. Scott was the best of them shooting a 65 but was too far back to contend.
Rahm went out with a 3 under 33 but pretty much gave it all back on the back nine. He dropped a shot on the 11th but picked up 2 in the next two holes but then gave it back on the 14th and 15th hole leaving him with a 69 for his final round and 2 shots back from Reed.
Spieth continued his up and down season. At times he looked like the world-beater who rose to world number #1 and looked like he was going to break through for a win but a couple of bogeys on the front nine put an end to that. He only made par on 2 of the holes on the front nine and with 5 birdies and 2 bogeys was too far back to put any pressure on the final group.
That only left Ancer and Reed to battle it out and after the first hole, Reed was two shots ahead. By the end of the 3rd, they were tied for the lead with Reed starting birdie, bogey, bogey and Ancer with a birdie on the 3rd. By the 9th hole, Reed had regained his one-stroke lead and it all came down to the final nine holes. Reed made birdies on the 14th and 16th to take a 3 shot lead heading into the final two holes but when Ancer made birdie on the 17th, things got interesting. Ancer birdied the 18th and Reed had a 4-foot putt on the last to claim a victory which he calmly did.
This was Reed’s seventh PGA TOUR win. The 29-year-old now owns a major, World Golf Championships and two FedExCup Playoffs events.
Like most PGA Tour events this didn’t go without controversy. Again the spot like was on slow play and Bryson DeChambeau, unfortunately, copped most of the anger on social media. The rules on Tour state that you have 40 seconds to play your shot. A bit like when an AFL player is having a kick for a goal, they have 30 seconds and when they have used up 15 seconds the umpire reminders the player. There is no umpire, per se, telling a player on each shot to hurry up but there is a rules official to tell the group to hurry up if they fall behind.
Video has emerged of DeChambeau taking 2 minutes and 26 seconds to miss an 8-foot putt. In the video, you can see his playing partners Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood just starting there waiting for him to have a putt.
The PGA Tour today have come out and said they are reviewing their pace of play policy which will be interesting to see if anything happens.