LA QUINTA, Calif. — Patrick Reed found his putting touch right when things started to getting interesting in the final round of the Humana Challenge.
After shooting three straight 9-under 63s to open a seven-stroke lead, Reed had a 1-under 71 on Sunday at PGA West’s to beat Ryan Palmer by two strokes.
“A lot tougher than the first three rounds,” Reed said. “My speed was off today. I left a lot of putts short. It seemed like the first three days the ball was just trickling over the front edge, and today it seemed like it came to a screeching halt.”
Finally resembling the guy who talked Saturday about being in a “putting coma,” Reed ran in an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th to push his lead to three strokes.
“It felt comfortable. It felt great,” Reed said. “I was able to play the last three holes just for par rather than trying to make birdies or trying to make something happen.”
He did par the last three to finish at 28-under 260 in the three-course event that he opened and closed on the Arnold Palmer Private Course.
The 23-year-old Reed has two victories in his first 46 PGA Tour starts, winning the Wyndham Championship in August. He was projected to jump from 73rd to 42nd in the world ranking, enough to lock up a spot in the 64-man Match Play Championship.
“I always play to try to prove to everybody that I belong out here,” Reed said. “As well as, I belong, not only out here on the PGA Tour, but also with the best players in the world.”
Reed took a call from former President Bill Clinton — the tournament is run in partnership with the Clinton Foundation — during his interview session.
“He told me to get myself back in that zone more often,” Reed said. “Because he said it was a lot of fun to watch.”