Reed relies on instincts, not reads, to take lead in Wells Fargo
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.
Patrick Reed plays a shot from a bunker on the 11th hole. He leads by a stroke entering the final round.