Another day, another 63 for Reed at Humana

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2014, 12:12 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Another perfect day in the Coachella Valley. Another 9-under 63 for Patrick Reed in the Humana Challenge.

Reed broke the PGA Tour record for relation to par for the first 54 holes, finishing at 27 under Saturday to take a seven-stroke lead into the final round.

Reed birdied his final hole on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Private Course, hitting a wedge to 2 feet on the par-4 ninth. He also had an eagle, eight birdies and a bogey.

''Any time you set a record on the PGA Tour it means you're doing something right,'' Reed said. ''Well, a lot of things right. But at the same time it doesn't matter if you have the 54-hole lead. All that matters at the end is at the end of Sunday.''

The 23-year-old Reed broke the mark of 25 under set by Gay Brewer in the 1967 Pensacola Open and matched by Ernie Els in the 2003 Tournament of Champions, Steve Stricker in the 2010 John Deere Classic and Pat Perez in the 2009 La Quinta event. Reed was one off Stricker's stroke record of 188 set on a par-71 course.


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''Almost seems like I'm in a putting coma,'' Reed said. ''The hole seems huge. It almost feels like I can't miss. It's interesting because when I do miss a putt, I get really frustrated because I almost feel like I should make it.''

The Wyndham Championship winner in August, Reed opened Thursday on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course and played La Quinta Country Club on Friday. He has played the 11 par 5s in 11 under, the 28 par 4s in 12 under and the 13 par 3s in 4 under.



Charley Hoffman and Brendon Todd were tied for second. Hoffman, the 2007 winner, had a 66 on the Palmer course - the site of the final round. Todd shot 68 at La Quinta.

''I wish I was a little closer than seven,'' Hoffman said. ''The weather's been perfect, greens are perfect. The scores and birdies are out there.''

Reed's seven-stroke margin is the largest entering the final round in event history, a stroke more than Rik Massengale took into his 1977 victory. David Duval overcame a seven-stroke deficit to win in 1999, closing with a 59 on the Palmer course. Last year, Brian Gay began the last day six strokes behind and ended up winning in a playoff.

''He's obviously playing really, really well, but if you go out there, I mean, I shot 9 under there yesterday,'' Todd said. ''If you go out there with the same mentality, trying to play as well as you can, you get hot early, put a little pressure on him, there's plenty of opportunities for him to make bogey.''

Reed eagled the par-5 16th on his first nine, hitting a 5-iron from 212 yards to 3 feet. Using his 50-degree wedge - the club he hit close on the final hole - on the par-4 sixth, he nearly holed a 125-yard approach, with the ball spinning back by the cup.

''It was basically the same shot,'' he said. ''The only difference is I didn't spin it as much on the last hole.''

He made a 15-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 seventh, and then missed a birdie chance on the par-5 eighth when his approach went left into greenside rough.

''Only had a three-quarter 6-iron in my hand,'' Reed said. ''There are shots out there I could have had. But, at the same time, it's another 63.''

Reed's wife, Justine, is pregnant with their first child, forcing her to turn over caddieing duties to her brother, Kessler Karain. She has walked every hole this year and plans to caddie again after the baby arrives around Memorial Day.

''They're brother and sister and they act in their demeanors so much the same,'' Reed said. ''I'm happy she's outside the ropes right now, because she's carrying my little girl.''

After helping Augusta State win NCAA titles in 2010 and 2011, Reed drew attention in 2012 when he successfully Monday-qualified for six events and made 12 starts.

''I'm going to treat tomorrow as if it's Monday qualifier,'' Reed said. ''Eighteen-hole shootout, everybody's tied at even par.''

The former Baton Rouge, La., high school champion earned his PGA Tour card in December 2012, surviving six rounds of Q-School at PGA West.

''I was like 130-something place after two rounds and shot 18 under the last four rounds to get in,'' Reed said. ''That was probably the most nervous 3-footer I ever had in my life on the last hole for par.''

Reed played alongside Tommy Gainey the first three days. Gainey shot 74-74-74 to tie for 150th among the 155 finishers - 33 strokes behind his playing partner.

''If I'm Patrick Reed, I'm going to but some lottery tickets,'' Gainey said. ''He's just hitting it too good and making everything he looks at. When you have that combination, nobody's going to beat you.''

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Lexi involved in a(nother) rules controversy at LPGA Thailand

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:50 am

Jessica Korda stole the show this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, winning the star-studded event by four strokes in her first start since undergoing serious jaw surgery to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

But just four strokes behind Korda finished Lexi Thompson, who may have challenged for the win on Sunday if not for another rules controversy during the second round of the event.

Thompson, who was famously assessed two two-stroke penalties last year at the ANA Inspiration that ultimately cost her the title, was hit with another two-stroke penalty on Friday in Thailand after she moved a sign out of her swing path at Siam Country Club.

The 23-year-old mistakenly thought a billboard on the 15th hole was a moveable object, when in fact, the local rule deemed this particular advertisement a "temporary immovable obstruction."

The two-stroke penalty was assesed after the round, where the par she made on the hole became a double bogey and what would have been a 66 ballooned into a 68.

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After Further Review: JT may face serious Ryder Cup heckling

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:09 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Thomas getting heckler thrown out ...

Justin Thomas polished off a playoff win at the Honda Classic despite the efforts of a fan who screamed for his ball to head for a fairway bunker on the 16th hole.

Thomas signaled for the fan to be ejected after striping his tee shot on No. 16, telling him, “Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.” It’s the second straight week that Thomas has had issues with fans, having bristled at some of the behavior he encountered while grouped with Tiger Woods at the Genesis Open.

Thomas’ stance is that golf has earned a reputation as a “classy sport” that should place it above jeering and catcalls from the gallery. It’s a view that is as noble as it is unachievable.

As long as tournaments continue to serve alcohol well into the afternoon hours, there will be outlier fans who will look to get a rise out of players with comments before, during or after swings. Thomas was within his right to ask for the fan’s removal, though I’d imagine the European fans planning to attend this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris might take note of the apparent impact the gallery can have on Thomas while in the heat of battle. – Will Gray


On the debate over rolling back the ball ...

The opening salvos in what promises to be one of the most polarizing eras in golf were exchanged this week. First, USGA CEO Mike Davis, via Jack Nicklaus, announced his arrival: “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there [on the distance issue]. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there,’” the Golden Bear explained when asked about the growing drumbeat to curtail how far modern players hit the golf ball.

A few days later, former Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein fired back: “Mike Davis has not told us (Acushnet/Titleist) that he is close and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there.”

Perhaps this will turn out to be a misunderstanding and the game’s rules makers and manufacturers will all end up on the same sideline, but it doesn’t feel that way right now. Rex Hoggard


On Tiger turning up the notch on his comeback ...

It’s safe to say the Tiger Woods comeback is ahead of schedule. After looking lost with his long game in his first two starts of the year, he led the field in proximity to the hole and third in driving distance. He flighted and shaped shots both directions, seemingly at ease, looking nothing like the player we saw at Torrey and Riviera.

If that form continues at Bay Hill and beyond, this has the potential to be one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.  Ryan Lavner


On Korda's journey from pain to promise ...

Jessica Korda is the leader in the clubhouse for best story of the year in women’s golf. She won her first start of the season Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand just a little more than two months after undergoing a complex and painful double-jaw surgery to alleviate headaches caused by her jaw’s alignment.

She did so in record-breaking fashion, shattering tournament scoring records against a star-studded field that included the top six players in the world. If Korda can so quickly overcome the challenges of that daunting offseason, there is no telling what else this determined young American star might achieve this year.  Randall Mell

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List loses playoff, may have gained performance coach

By Randall MellFebruary 26, 2018, 1:52 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke List didn’t win in his playoff with Justin Thomas Sunday at the Honda Classic, but he thinks he may have found a pretty good new performance coach.

The guy’s name is “Moose.”

He’s a former Australian rules football player.

Actually, his full name is Brent Stevens, a friend of List’s caddie, who put them on the phone together for the first time last week at the Genesis Open.

List liked a lot of the performance keys Stevens gave him and posted some of the advice in his yardage book, so he could reference them.


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“Effort over result” was one of the ideas List scribbled down.

“I feel like I've got the ability to play at this level,” said List, who was seeking his first victory Sunday at PGA National. “It just hasn't quite happened yet, but the more I think about it, I feel like the worse I do. So I focus on what's in front of me, the effort into the shot. I did a really good job of that this week.”

List said he’s interested in maybe visiting Australia to take Moose’s training to another level.

“He's a very fit dude,” List said. “He's got some clients that he brings down to south of Melbourne, to run the sand dunes,” List said, “and if we keep in contact, which I'm sure we will, I'm going to have to go down there and get my butt kicked.”

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Both in contention, Thomas hears 'crickets' from Woods

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 26, 2018, 1:36 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods has become a friend, confidant and something of an adviser for Justin Thomas.

Whenever Thomas has been in contention in his young career, Woods has often texted him advice or good luck on the eve of the final round.

That wasn’t the case Saturday night after the third round of the Honda Classic.

“Got crickets last night,” Thomas said, laughing.


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That’s because Woods was in contention, too, beginning the final round seven shots off the lead.

“I knew he had one thing in mind, and we both had the same thing in mind,” Thomas said. “I thought that was pretty funny.”

Thomas added that he was “very impressed” with Woods’ 12th-place finish at PGA National.