Reed in lead, but not so cocky

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - SPORTS GOLF - By Doug Fer­gu­son

BETHESDA, Md. — Patrick Reed is not in­ter­ested in talk­ing about be­ing top five in the world.

He only cares about PGA Tour vic­tory No. 4.

Reed, who turned off some of his peers when he won at Do­ral and said he was among the top five play­ers in the world, held it to­gether Satur­day at steamy Con­gres­sional for an even­par 71 to build a two-shot lead in the Quicken Loans Na­tional.

As if Con­gres­sional wasn’t dif­fi­cult, the rest of the field now has to chase a guy who has won all three pre­vi­ous PGA Tour events when he had at least a share of the lead go­ing into the fi­nal round.

On a day when mak­ing pars of­ten meant mov­ing for­ward, Reed over­came three bo­geys in a seven-hole stretch by play­ing the last five holes at 1 un­der for a two-shot mar­gin over Se­ung-yul Noh, Fred­die Ja­cob­son and Marc Leish­man.

“You can’t get ahead of yourself,” Reed said. “If you think about hav­ing the lead or if you think about what you’re go­ing to do com­ing down 18, you’re go­ing to lose fo­cus on the rest of the holes.”

Reed was at 6-un­der 207.

The fi­nal round will have a player in the last group with a red shirt, only it won’t be tour­na­ment host Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Reed has been wear­ing a red shirt and black pants on Sun­day to pat­tern him­self af­ter Woods. He also cited Woods when asked which player was his idol in be­ing con­fi­dent.

Reed took that to a new level when he won at Do­ral and said he felt he was among the top five in the world. He cur­rently is No. 29.

“You can’t play this game with lack of con­fi­dence,” Reed said. “So just one of those things that, you know, we’re all try­ing to strive for the same thing, and some guys get there and that’s all we’re try­ing to do.”

Dat­ing to his first PGA Tour win at the Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship last Au­gust, the only top 10s Reed has had have been vic­to­ries. He at­tributes his spo­radic play to his wife hav­ing their first child last month. Now, Reed says his life is be­com­ing set­tled and his game is round­ing into shape.

Noh fin­ished off his 5-un­der 66 — the best score of the third round — about the time the lead­ers went off. He was at 4-un­der 209, which looked bet­ter by the hour.

Ja­cob­son made four birdies in his open­ing eight holes to reach 8 un­der, only to take dou­ble bo­gey on the 11th hole and a sloppy bo­gey on the par-5 16th hole. He wound up with a 71. Leish­man was still only one shot be­hind un­til he failed to get up-and-down for par on the 17th and fell to a 73.

“At the start of the day, we prob­a­bly knew that any­thing un­der par was go­ing to be a re­ally good score,” Leish­man said.

‘You can’t get ahead of yourself. If you think about hav­ing the lead or if you think about what you’re go­ing to do com­ing down 18, you’re go­ing to lose fo­cus on the rest of the holes’

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

BETH HALL / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Michelle Wie (left) and So Yeon Ryu watch Ryu’s ball from the third tee dur­ing Satur­day’s sec­ond round of the NW Arkansas Cham­pi­onship.

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