Reed in lead, but not so cocky
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
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.