I loved Patrick Reed’s post round interview. No beating around the bush with platitudes about how “lucky he was to have won with such a great field” and about he “ground out a win on a tough course” (this point is actually true though, but he didn’t emphasize it). The 23 year old went on national tv after winning the WGC Cadillac Championship and talked about how he’s won at every level and winning on tour is expected for him. Hearing that is almost more refreshing than a Spotted Cow on a Friday night. Nobody wants to listen to a standard winner’s speech. We want confidence, and dammit if Patrick Reed isn’t delivering.
Really at no point in the round did it not look like Reed was going to win. He was two under after the first four holes (3 birdies and 1 bogey) and maintained at least a two shot cushion throughout the day. The only hiccup being a missed 3 footer for birdie on 14. His bunker play was fantastic, his short game was solid, and he absolutely looked like he knew what he was doing. I mentioned this in the round 4 preview that he looked like he was at least 28, and Dan Hicks semi confirmed those thoughts by saying Reed looked at least 33 out there. Without a doubt, he backed up his quote that he is a top 5 player in the world.
Other storylines included a great round by Jamie Donaldson, a 38 year old Welshman who is just starting to break onto the scene. Despite a bogey on the final hole, Donaldson closed on the back nine with three birdies, a solid indicator of a player with the right mindset. Bubba kind of snuck into the picture early by putting up a really solid round bogey free round of 68. Donaldson and Watson ended up 1 back of Reed at -2.
Oh yeah, Tiger pulled what I want to put forward as “The Tiger.” Having one really good round and convincing everyone that he’s going to comeback and win only to bogey himself out of contention in the final round. This has happened way too many times to not have a name associated with it.
Tiger’s back was also an issue during the round and I can’t help but wondering how much of the wincing and tender walking is just to make sure that the announces talk about his injured back. With so much flopping going on in sports, overplaying a golfing injury so people know you’re hurt must be the golf equivalent. Now I don’t think Tiger was overplaying that at all, but making sure he winced enough to make Johnny Miller talk about it had to be in the back of his mind. Either way, he sucked it up.
Up next is the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in Tampa, Fl. Word on the street is that part of the agreement Valspar signed to be title sponsor was that they had to provide the paint for the hazard lines on the course. This is unconfirmed though.