Reed triumphs by two shots at La Quinta

Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:08pm EST
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(Reuters) - American Patrick Reed survived a few anxious moments and poor swings midway through the final round to seal his second PGA Tour victory by two shots at the $5.7 million Humana Challenge on Sunday in La Quinta, California.

A commanding seven strokes ahead overnight, Reed mixed four bogeys with three birdies in a roller-coaster stretch of eight holes from the fifth but held steady after that to close with a one-under-par 71 on the Palmer Private course at PGA West.

"I wasn't pleased with the round today but I got it done," the burly 23-year-old told Golf Channel after completing a wire-to-wire victory with a 28-under total of 260, finishing two ahead of fellow American Ryan Palmer (63).

"The first three days were kind of grind and go, play as low as you can," said Reed, who became the first player on the PGA Tour to post scores no worse than 63 in each of the first three rounds.

"But Sundays are always a little harder, as everyone knows, and also the flags are a little tougher. I just tried to stick to the game plan, tried to post a decent number."

World number six Zach Johnson, who clinched his 11th PGA Tour title at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii earlier this month, sensationally birdied the last five holes for a best-of-the-week 10-under 62.

Johnson's flawless round left him in a tie for third at 25-under with fellow American Justin Leonard (65), and he will now take a four-week break before returning to the PGA Tour for the February 19-23 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Little-known American Brendon Todd applied early pressure on playing partner Reed with four birdies in the first six holes but then lost momentum as he closed with a 69 to share sixth place at 23 under with 2010 champion Bill Haas (67).

Most eyes on Sunday, however, were focused firmly on Reed in his bid to become only the second wire-to-wire winner at the pro-am event, compatriot Rik Massengale having achieved the feat in 1977 when the tournament was played over 90 holes.   Continued...