Sunday wasn’t nearly as drama-free as Patrick Reed would have preferred, but he still held on for a two-shot, wire-to-wire victory at the Humana Challenge. Here’s the skinny on the final round at PGA West:
The leaderboard: Patrick Reed (-28); Ryan Palmer (-26); Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard at -25; Brian Stuard at -24
What it means: It’s the second career PGA Tour title for Reed, who also won the Wyndham Championship in August. He didn’t have another top 10 in his seven starts since, but this title will propel Reed to about No. 41 in the world, making him a lock for the upcoming WGC-Accenture Match Play. Always overlooked in college among the Henleys and Uihleins of the game, Reed now has two wins in 46 career PGA Tour starts.
Round of the day: Leading by a touchdown entering the final day, Reed basically just needed to stay upright in the final round, and that he did. Going out in 35 and leading by five, he was able to stay ahead of the pack, though not as comfortably as he would have liked. After making just two bogeys through 59 holes, Reed dropped four shots during a nervy final round. Reed set neither a new record for lowest 72-hole score (254) nor the lowest round in a 72-hole event in relation to par (31 under). That said, his record-breaking start (63-63-63) was even more remarkable when considering that prior to this week, Reed had only two rounds of 63 in 139 career rounds on Tour.
Best of the rest: It was a close race for second place, and Zach Johnson, even running on fumes, nearly made an improbable rise to that position. One of the hottest players on the planet fired a flawless final-round 62 – including five straight birdies to close – to finish joint third, three shots behind. In 2014, he has a win, T-8 and T-3 finish. Now, he takes a four-week break. Ryan Palmer shot 63 to finish solo second, while Leonard's 65 gave him a share of third.
Biggest disappointment: Reed got the victory, but it was a sloppy finish to what had been one of the most impressive weeks in recent memory. Reed was seven ahead at the start of the day, and the field’s chance for victory should have ended when he turned up at PGA West on Sunday morning. Instead, he prolonged the inevitable for nearly the entire final round. Only two players in the top 38 had a worse final-round score than Reed's 71.
Shot of the day: His lead dwindling with four holes to play, Reed rolled in a 17-footer for birdie on 15 that extended his lead to three shots and sealed the victory.