Stuck In Neutral, But Reed Holds On To Win: Final Thoughts On Hope

Trend Setters

Last week when Jimmy Walker won the Sony Open in Hawaii it marked his second win in less than 6 months after having never previously won on tour. Last summer Harris English won his first tourney in Memphis and followed that up with a win in Mexico in November. This week in Palm Springs, Patrick Reed backed up his win from last August at the Wyndham with his 2nd PGA Tour victory. Sure these guys are good, every tour player is, but that 2nd victory appears to come much faster once you have a two year exemption in your back pocket. Reed joins English and Rory McIlroy as the only players on tour that are 25 or younger with at least 2 wins. That’s a very fine club to be a part of. I suspect Mr. Spieth will join them soon.

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If you were paying attention at all to the Hope, you likely saw or heard about Reed’s huge lead after play was completed on Saturday. If not, the cliff notes version is that he shot three mother fucking 63s to build a 7 shot lead and set a 54 hole scoring record in relation to par. Reed made 5 birdies, 4 bogies, and 9 pars on Sunday to close the deal and win by 2 shots.

Reed credited his sponsor, Callaway Golf, and their new Big Bertha Alpha driver for aiding in his performance. It’s worth noting that Reed left Nike last year because he felt Callaway could put a driver in his hands that fit his game better. He won shortly after joining Callaway, but did so by not hitting many drivers at all at the 2013 Wyndham. It’s also worth noting that the new Big Bertha driver was in Pablo Larrazabal’s bag in Abu Dhabi when he won today. It was in Phil’s bag too. Of course Callaway pays them to play these sticks, but there’s something going on with Bertha. There’s too much smoke and too many tour players chirping about it to go unnoticed. I might need to give this thing a few whacks. Larrazabal and Reed also both won using Callaway’s new SR3 ball.

Carrying Another Load For Her Hubby

When Reed contended at St. Jude last year we were introduced to his wife Justine. She was his caddie. Golf fans fell in love with the Reed story because of her and because he had gone from Monday qualifier to tour member in about 12 months. Justine was also on the bag when he won the Wyndham.  If you haven’t seen her, she’s very tiny, which makes the sight of her carrying his 55 pound tour bag something to behold.

Sadly for fans, Mrs. Reed’s caddying days appear to be behind her. As we found out from the Golf Channel during the Hope broadcasts, her brother is now looping for Patrick because she’s pregnant. She’s due in May, which by my calculations is right about 9 months from the day he won the Wyndham. I like their style!

The Field

When there are championship football games on and the leader starts the final round of a tour event with a 7 shot lead, there isn’t much of a reason to tune in. However, Reed took his foot off the gas and low rounds by Ryan Palmer and Zach Johnson made things as interesting as the Golf Channel execs could hope for. Palmer eagled the 18th hole to get within two of Reed. At that point we had to stay tuned to make sure Reed’s ball was dry until it reached the final green.

Johnson went out early, got hot, and made every putt he looked at just like he has for the last 5 months. Reigning Tweeter of the Year at ShutFaceGolf, Jason Sobel, chimed in.

You can’t ignore that kind of data from Zachie-poo. He’s beating the world right now with a run similar to what Stenson closed 2013 with. He knows his game, (cherry) picks his events to play in wisely, and rolls his rock better than 99.9% of every other golfer in the universe. Good for him, but does his recent success, his major, and 10 other tour victories make him a Hall of Fame candidate? Fellow blogger Adam Fonseca, @ChicagoDuffer, answered the question of Zach making the hall of fame (earlier this month) exactly how I would.  Zach isn’t there yet, but a few more wins including another major and it will be damn hard to keep him out.

Shot Of The Day

Hole in ones on the PGA Tour happen almost every week. Unlike 20 years ago, most of them are now caught on camera. Unfortunately for Ken Duke, his was recorded in the final round of the Hope today.

Whew…I thought he was going to go all Richard Sherman on us for a second. I guess he was a little excited.

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