Patrick Reed battles his way to second WGC title with Mexico victory

Rory McIlroy finishes fifth after closing 68 at Club de Golf Chapultepec

Patrick Reed celebrates on the 18th green after winning the WGCMexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Patrick Reed celebrates on the 18th green after winning the WGCMexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

This rapidly developed into the World Golf Championship of the damned. For so much of Sunday, the devil could have cast his net over the leaders of the WGC-Mexico Championship. Three- and four-way ties as further players lay within touching distance pointed towards a gripping denouement.

Ultimately it came down to Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, two golfers seeking to switch unfortunate narratives attached to them. DeChambeau, widely castigated for slow play and – in this very tournament – using his putter as a mallet on a green, ultimately threw away the chance of the biggest win of his career. Reed, who has been berated for his actions, as drew a penalty in the Hero World Challenge in December, overhauled the Californian. When it counted, Reed let his golf do the talking; yet again.

Reed’s ability to ignore external noise – and, as coming from Brooks Koepka in recent days, there was rather a lot of it – really is quite something.

He has been publicly questioned by his peers and responded brilliantly.

This victory all-but secures Reed’s return to the Ryder Cup – alongside Koepka, one assumes – at Whistling Straits in September. Reed took a two-stroke lead onto the 18th tee after three birdies in a row, with his subsequent victory by one. Reed signed for a Sunday 67, meaning an 18 under par total.

DeChambeau’s 65 was hardly moderate but with the trophy in his sights, he stumbled. This marks Reed’s second World Golf Championship which, coupled with the donning of a Green Jacket in 2018, triggers memories of the Texan once proclaiming himself a top five player in the world.

Who’s laughing now?

DeChambeau had separated himself from the field with birdies at the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th. Yet Reed refused to go away; the former Masters champion collected shots at the 12th and 15th. Crucially, Reed hadn’t dropped a single shot all day as DeChambeau did precisely that with a three-putt at the 17th. Almost immediately, Reed hit an approach shot to tap-in range on 16, meaning he held a one-stroke lead with two to play. Reed’s birdie at the penultimate hole rendered his bogey on 18 irrelevant.

To DeChambeau’s credit, he headed to the final green to congratulate the champion.

“My team and I, we’ve worked so hard through the end of last year and also at the beginning of this year,” Reed said. “It kept on feeling like I was playing some good golf, just we weren’t quite able to get over that hump.”

Rory McIlroy had been within one of the lead until DeChambeau pressed upon his accelerator and the world No 1 three-putted the 12th. From there, McIlroy was playing for the top five. His 68 meant fifth place at 14 under.

McIlroy will be disappointed at not being in position to pressurise DeChambeau over the closing stretch but, in truth, this was a decent tournament finish from the Northern Irishman after three days of playing with his B-game.

“I’m looking forward to a week off,” McIlroy said. “It’s frustrating, I didn’t feel like I got the best out of myself.”

While McIlroy essentially held things together, Justin Thomas imploded. In what represented a curious scenario for a player who is typically formidable from the front, the 54-hole leader slipped to a 73. Thomas encountered problems from the tee all day, with a four-over-par run between the seventh tee and 10th green epitomising his struggles. Thomas tied sixth with Tyrrell Hatton, with the Englishman due immense credit for this performance in his first start of 2020. Hatton has been suffering from a wrist injury.

Jon Rahm could have toppled McIlroy at the summit of the world rankings with a win and was among those tied at the top early on day four. Rahm’s 67 meant a 15 under par total, a tie for third with Erik Van Rooyen and that McIlroy’s position is safe for another week at least.

As Reed was sealing victory, Viktor Hovland did likewise in Puerto Rico. A first PGA Tour success for the 22-year-old from Oslo – well known as an exceptional talent – will only fuel theories about Ryder Cup participation later this year. – Guardian

FINAL LEADERBOARD (Par 71)

266 Patrick Reed (USA) 69 63 67 67

267 Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 68 63 71 65

269 Jon Rahm (Esp) 72 69 61 67, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 62 67 70

270 Rory McIlroy (N Irl) 65 69 68 68

271 Justin Thomas (USA) 67 66 65 73, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 64 71 67, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 69 68 66 68

272 Kevin Na (USA) 71 68 65 68, Billy Horschel (USA) 68 71 68 65

273 Paul Casey (Eng) 69 68 66 70

275 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 70 70 67 68, Gary Woodland (USA) 70 69 65 71

276 Xander Schauffele (USA) 72 72 66 66, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 71 66 72 67

277 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 75 68 66 68, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 71 67 68

278 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 69 70 69, Bubba Watson (USA) 67 72 71 68, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 73 70 65 70, Kevin Kisner (USA) 73 69 67 69

279 Cameron Smith (Aus) 73 73 69 64, Matt Kuchar (USA) 75 67 67 70, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 76 69 70 64, Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 70 70 70

280 Scottie Scheffler (USA) 73 70 67 70, Adam Scott (Aus) 74 68 68 70, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 68 69 70

281 Justin Harding (Rsa) 71 71 67 72, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 75 69 72 65, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 72 68 73 68, Lanto Griffin (USA) 72 69 70 70, Chez Reavie (USA) 71 73 67 70, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 69 71 69, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 72 70 67, Sungjae Im (Kor) 69 72 70 70

282 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 74 72 70 66, Brendon Todd (USA) 72 71 71 68, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 75 68 70 69, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 76 68 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 72 70 70 70

283 Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70 68 71, Collin Morikawa (USA) 72 70 72 69, Robert Macintyre (Sco) 76 68 70 69, Branden Grace (Rsa) 71 71 71 70, Danny Willett (Eng) 73 68 70 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 68 74 70

284 Dustin Johnson (USA) 76 71 67 70, Zach Murray (Aus) 71 69 69 75

285 Corey Conners (Can) 68 70 72 75

286 Jason Kokrak (USA) 73 70 73 70, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 68 71 76 71

287 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 73 73 73 68, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 76 70 72 69, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 74 71 70, Victor Perez (Fra) 81 70 66 70, Charles Howell III (USA) 75 74 68 70

288 Matt Wallace (Eng) 74 77 71 66, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 75 70 74 69, Jordan Spieth (USA) 74 73 70 71

289 Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 74 70 70 75, Lucas Glover (USA) 71 73 76 69, Webb Simpson (USA) 72 73 74 70

290 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 71 74 70 75

292 Scott Hend (Aus) 72 75 75 70

294 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 76 73 72 73

295 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 77 74 69 75

296 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 80 72 73 71

297 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 74 75 73, Graeme McDowell (N Irl) 76 74 75 72

299 Sung Kang (Kor) 76 76 72 75

303 Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 80 73 74 76

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