With only three players finishing the 72 holes at The WGC-Cadillac Championship under par, you have to think the world’s top 50 players are happy to be getting out of South Florida this morning. The good news is that by the time the PGA Tour comes back for the 2015 event at The Trump International Doral Blue Monster the golf course will have had some time to mature. Even though the wind subsided after the Friday blood-bath, the scores didn’t improve much over the weekend.
Although second-year player Patrick Reed was able to win his third tournament in the past calendar year, maybe the luckiest guy in the field was Jason Day. Day opted out on Thursday with thumb problems, and spent the weekend watching the other 49 top players in the world donate used golf balls to Mr Trump’s gift shop.
The WGC-Cadillac Championship is by far the biggest win the 23 year-old Texan has to date. Not only did he pocket $1.53 Million Dollars for his trouble, but the 550 FedEx Cup points vaults him into third place in the standings, and should elevate him into the top 20 in Offical World Golf Rankings. This win was a game-changer for the PGA pro.
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 became the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship, 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.
Reed is expected to go to No. 20 in the world ranking. In his own ranking, he feels he belongs in the top five.
Beginning his Sunday with a two-shot lead, a very conservative bogey at the 72nd hole gave Reed a one-shot victory over Bubba Watson, and Jamie Donaldson. The threesome was the only players to finish under par for their effort at Doral. Bubba shot a -4 under par on Sunday, and the Welchman, Donaldson carded a 70.
The 2012 Masters Champion played about as well as anyone on Sunday, and was able to get in the clubhouse to post the three under score, and give the younger Reed a number that he would have to consider while playing the 18th hole.
With a two-shot lead, Reed played the 18th with an iron off the tee to well right of the water hazard, a lay up, a third shot to the center of the green and a two-putt bogey and a win. Very conservative, but the 23 year-old wanted no part of giving this tournament away on the last hole.
Patrick Reed has never played in a PGA Major Championship yet, but with what I saw on Sunday, he will need to be considered when they get to Augusta next month. He has all of the tools, and has some collegiate experience at Augusta. After beating the best in the world on Sunday, you have to put him in your power rankings.
Both stops on the Florida Swing so far have been major championship challenges, and it will be tough to follow as the tour moves on to Tampa for the Valspar Championship next week. Kevin Streelman navigated the “Snake Pit” on his way to his only victory in the 2013 season.
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