By Ann Liguori
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Patrick Reed has wasted little time in making a name for himself on the PGA Tour. In only his second year on Tour, he’s already racked up three PGA Tour titles in seven months.
Last August, Reed won the Wyndham Championship in a playoff over Jordan Spieth. In February, he shot three straight rounds of 63 and won the Humana Challenge. And on Sunday, the 23-year-old became the youngest player ever to win a WGC event after capturing the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.
Since 1990, only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia have won three PGA Tour titles before turning 24.
To add icing to the cake, Reed will be playing in his very first major when The Masters gets underway in April. Augusta National is located just a few miles from Augusta State University, where he led the golf team to back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011. To say that Reed is peaking at the right time for his first major is an understatement.
And if that’s not good enough, Reed can share all of these incredible moments with his wife Justine, who usually caddies for him. Justine is pregnant with their first child right now, so her brother has taken over carrying Reed’s bag for the time being.
I’d say life is pretty good for the young and talented Reed right now.
His most recent victory was quite the feat on the 7,481-yard, Donald Trump-toughened Blue Monster course as he battled the top golfers in the world. He also battled rain and wind in the early rounds and then maintained his composure over the weekend, scrambling and making par saves on the back nine, eventually carding an even-par 72 for a one-shot victory over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson.
Reed is loaded with confidence and he dared to wear red in the final round, emulating Woods — whom he watched throughout his youth. He said that he thinks he’s proven himself, and he feels he is one of the top-five players in the world right now. (His ranking is currently No 20.)
Woods, meanwhile, is dealing with back issues for the second straight tournament. After shooting a six-under 66 in the third round, moving him just three shots off the lead entering the final round, the top player in the world failed to make a birdie in the final round for the first time in his career and closed with a 78, matching his worst Sunday score ever. Woods, with a five-over for the tournament, finished tied for 25th.
Woods’ ailing back makes us question how it will hold up in Augusta. He’s scheduled to defend his title at Bay Hill and then rest up for The Masters, as he’ll attempt to win his first major in five years.
Who looks good as we get closer to The Masters? Watson, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, McIlroy, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson, to name a few.
And young Reed has quickly emerged to be part of that conversation.
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