Reed re­lies on in­stincts, not reads, to take lead in Wells Fargo

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - GOLF ROUNDUP AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pa­trick Reed was be­fud­dled by the wind when his golf ball was in the air and by the book when his ball was on the green. He went back to play­ing ag­gres­sively, and it gave him the lead Satur­day in the Wells Fargo Cham­pi­onship in Wilm­ing­ton, N.C. But not by much. Reed ham­mered a wedge into four feet for birdie on the 17th and fin­ished with a two-putt birdie for a 5-un­der-par 67 to match the low score of a blus­tery third round.

It was good enough for a one-shot lead over Alex Noren of Swe­den and Jon Rahm of Spain go­ing into the fi­nal round at Ea­gle Point.

But with one round re­main­ing, the tour­na­ment was wide open, even for Dustin John­son.

The world’s No. 1 player, com­pet­ing for the first time since his slip down the stairs bruised his back and knocked him out of the Masters, ral­lied for a 67 and was four shots out of the lead as John­son goes for his fourth straight PGA Tour vic­tory.

In a scram­ble for the top — 18 play­ers were sep­a­rated by four shots after 54 holes — Reed fin­ished strong.

He also quit re­ly­ing so much on his book that shows ev­ery tiny move­ment on the green — the one the USGA and R&A might ban — to avoid in­for­ma­tion over­load. He only asked his cad­die to help read a putt on two oc­ca­sions (and made them both).

“I used to just read putts my­self and kind of step up, go first in­stinct and knock it in,” Reed said. “I’ve done that pretty well all week.”

CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: John Daly said he’s not ac­cus­tomed to see­ing him­self atop the leader board. He has a chance to do some­thing else he hasn’t ac­com­plished in a long time — win a golf tour­na­ment.

Daly shot a bo­gey-free 7-un­der 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry in the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons’ Insper­ity In­vi­ta­tional. The 51-year-old, two-time ma­jor cham­pion will try for his first vic­tory on the se­nior tour — and for the first time since the PGA Tour’s 2004 Buick In­vi­ta­tional.

“It’s not a fa­mil­iar place I’m in. It’s go­ing to be great,” Daly said.

Es­pe­cially if Daly keeps put­ting the way he has at The Wood­lands, Tex. He has had only one bo­gey in the first 36 holes and closed the sec­ond round with six birdies on the fi­nal 12 holes to reach 11-un­der 133.

LPGA TOUR: Michelle Wie ral­lied to beat Angel Yin in the Lorena Ochoa Match Play to join Ariya Ju­tanu­garn, Sei Young Kim and Mi Jung Hur in the semi­fi­nals.

Four down after 11 holes at Club de Golf Mex­ico in Mex­ico City, Wie twice ral­lied to tie the long-hit­ting Yin and won with a birdie on the par-5 20th hole.

Wie set up a match against Kim, a 5-and-4 win­ner over Karine Icher in the event that switched from stroke to match play and moved from Novem­ber.

Wie is win­less since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. She won the then-Lorena Ochoa In­vi­ta­tional in stroke play in 2009 in Guadala­jara for her first tour ti­tle.

EURO­PEAN TOUR: With mu­sic blar­ing around the first tee, English golfer Andy Sul­li­van — don­ning two gi­ant foam hands — emerged through bursts of smoke be­fore high-fiv­ing spec­ta­tors and meet­ing a danc­ing pink mas­cot with a jump­ing chest­bump.

The Euro­pean Tour took a break from the norm at the in­au­gu­ral GolfSixes event, a six­hole match play tour­na­ment fea­tur­ing two-man teams from 16 coun­tries.

Eng­land, Den­mark, Scot­land, Thai­land, Por­tu­gal, Aus­tralia, Italy and France pro­gressed from the group stage to the quar­ter­fi­nals, which take place Sunday along with the semi­fi­nals and fi­nal at Cen­tu­rion Club at St. Al­bans, Eng­land.

JARED C. TILTON/GETTY IMAGES

Pa­trick Reed plays a shot from a bunker on the 11th hole. He leads by a stroke en­ter­ing the fi­nal round.

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