Reed leads by two through 54 at Congressional

By Doug FergusonJune 28, 2014, 10:44 pm

BETHESDA, Md. - Patrick Reed is not interested in talking about being top five in the world. 

He only cares about PGA Tour victory No. 4. 

Reed, who turned off some of his peers when he won at Doral and said he was among the top five players in the world, held it together Saturday at steamy Congressional for an even-par 71 to build a two-shot lead in the Quicken Loans National. 

As if Congressional wasn't difficult, the rest of the field now has to chase a guy who has won all three previous PGA Tour events when he had at least a share of the lead going into the final round.

On a day when making pars often meant moving forward, Reed overcame three bogeys in a seven-hole stretch by playing the last five holes at 1 under for a two-shot margin over Seung-Yul Noh, Freddie Jacobson and Marc Leishman. 

''You can't get ahead of yourself,'' Reed said. ''If you think about having the lead or if you think about what you're going to do coming down 18, you're going to lose focus on the rest of the holes.''

Reed was at 6-under 207.

The final round will have a player in the last group with a red shirt, only it won't be tournament host Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Reed has been wearing a red shirt and black pants on Sunday to pattern himself after Woods. He also cited Woods when asked which player was his idol in being confident.

Reed took that to a new level when he won at Doral and said he felt he was among the top five in the world. He currently is No. 29.

''You can't play this game with lack of confidence,'' Reed said. ''So just one of those things that, you know, we're all trying to strive for the same thing, and some guys get there and that's all we're trying to do.''


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Dating to his first PGA Tour win at the Wyndham Championship last August, the only top 10s Reed has had have been victories. He attributes his sporadic play to his wife having their first child last month. Now, Reed says his life is becoming settled and his game is rounding into shape.

Noh finished off his 5-under 66 - the best score of the third round - about the time the leaders went off. He was at 4-under 209, which looked better by the hour.

Jacobson made four birdies in his opening eight holes to reach 8 under, only to take double bogey on the 11th hole and a sloppy bogey on the par-5 16th hole. He wound up with a 71. Leishman was still only one shot behind until he failed to get up and down for par on the 17th and fell to a 73.

''At the start of the day, we probably knew that anything under par was going to be a really good score,'' Leishman said. ''I actually said to my caddie, 'It feels a bit like a U.S. Open' because there were a few pins that you really didn't have a chance to get at. But I think that's good. It's a tough golf course. It's long. If you're not in the fairway, you have no chance.''

Reed was not in the fairway on two holes where he made birdie, and he managed to pull it off.

In deep rough to the right of the fourth fairway, he was 169 yards away and decided to smash a 9-iron to clear the bunker instead of trying a soft 8-iron. It worked out perfectly. The ball bounded past the hole and up a slope, and slowly rolled back to within inches of the cup.

''I thought there was about a 3 percent chance I could cover that bunker, and I ended up being perfect,'' Reed said. ''It was nice whenever I saw it roll up the hill and I saw it come back down because I thought, 'All right, we have about 5, 7 feet for birdie.' Didn't know it was a couple inches, which was nice.''

Oliver Goss of Australia, the U.S. Amateur runner-up last year making his second pro start, was part of a four-way tie for the lead going into the third round. He was still in the mix until a three-putt from 10 feet for double bogey on No. 11. He had a 76, though he was still only five shots behind.

Justin Rose was within two shots of the lead after a hot start, only to make bogey on the par-5 ninth and a double bogey on the 11th hole. He battled back with a pair of late birdies, only to drop another shot on the 18th for a 71. Even so, he was only three shots behind.

This could be a perfect fit for a U.S. Open champion. None of the last 26 players who teed off broke 70. Rose took note of the rapidly changing color of the greens, and his only fear was officials watering the greens overnight, which would make it easier for the early starters.

''I'd be a fan of them letting them go a little bit and making this a tough tournament and sort of having another U.S. Open,'' Rose said. ''That would be my wish right now. But obviously, the course is firm. Wedges were releasing 10 yards by the end of the day. It's definitely a test. It was fun. I enjoy that type of golf.'''

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.