SAN DIEGO (AP) — Patrick Reed was so unaffected by a rules controversy a day earlier that he won the Farmers Insurance Open by five shots, the biggest margin in his nine career PGA Tour victories.
Reed closed with a four-under 68 at Torrey Pines, making an eagle on the par-5 sixth and finishing off his dominating on Sunday with a birdie on the 18th.
The former Masters champions finished at 14 under after a consistent four days at the blufftop municipal courses overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He shared the first-round lead with Alex Noren, was in a group one shot off the lead in the second round and then shared the third-round lead with Carlos Ortiz.
Reed said staying mentally strong, as well as good play with his wedge and putter, were able to “keep me in the golf tournament and really allowed me to have a fun stroll up 18”.
The controversy arose on Saturday on the par-four 10th when Reed hit a 190-yard shot out of a bunker with a TV replay showing the ball bounced once before settling into the rough. Without waiting for an official, Reed picked up the ball to see if it was embedded. Reed told the official that no one in his group, as well as a nearby volunteer, saw it bounce. He was awarded a free drop and saved par in a round of 70.
On Sunday, Reed jump-started his round with a 45-foot eagle putt on the number six to get to 12 under and followed with a birdie on the par-four seventh. His only bogey was on the par-three eighth, and he rebounded with a birdie on the par-five ninth. He played par the rest of the way until sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on number 18.
“I was allowed to kind of put it behind me when the head rules official comes up and says you did everything you were supposed to do,” Reed said. “When you do everything you’re supposed to do, at the end of the day that’s all you can control. Going into today, I felt good, I felt confident and really went to the golf course, plugged in my headphones and just kind of got in my world with my coach and got to that first tee.”
Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Ryan Palmer, Henrik Norlander and Viktor Hovland tied for second.
Reed said he was resilient.
“I knew today was going to be a grind, especially with that leaderboard and seeing how many big names were right around there at the top. I knew you were going to have to go out and play on offence. You couldn’t play defence. You had to go out there and shoot a number.
“It was kind of shaky there early on in the beginning, kind of a couple shots that seemed to kind of get a little bit away from me. But I was able to rely on the short game early and get in a groove there in the middle of the round.”