Last year he shot 27 under par across the first three days here to break the PGA Tour’s 54-hole scoring record in relation to par. He went on to win by two.
Reed fired another low one Thursday, opening with a 7-under 65 at La Quinta Country Club to sit just two shots off the early lead. In the second round he will play the Nicklaus Course, typically the easiest in the rotation.
“He played some beautiful golf,” said Matt Kuchar, who was paired with Reed. “He was just striping it. I mean, he really could have had a great day.”
Reed said that his confidence is “as high as it could be,” and he is guarding against being overconfident and taking too many risks. His confidence is well earned, of course, after stealing the Tournament of Champions earlier this month for his fourth win since August 2013.
The 65 here Thursday is Reed’s eighth consecutive round in the 60s, dating to the Hero World Challenge in December. In five PGA Tour rounds this calendar year, he is a combined 28 under par.
“Any time you feel like you miss a few (putts) and shot 7 under, you’re always going to feel pretty good,” he said.