Monday, March 10

A Mixed Weekend for Red and Black



THE MAN WHO ARRIVED AT THE FIRST TEE on Sunday as the 54-hole leader of the WGC-Cadillac Championship wore red and black. He was brimming with confidence. Just look at what he said on Saturday night.

"I firmly believe, as well as my swing coach and my whole team that's behind me, I'm a top five player in the world," he told NBC, according to John Strege.

"I just got out there on tour and it takes awhile to get your spot all the way up there. But I have that confidence that I'm a top five player in the world. I feel like if I do what I'm supposed to do and play how I'm supposed to, if I'm playing the best I can that week I can't be beat."

Reed: "I'm one of the top five
players in the world."
He is not 38-year-old Tiger Woods. He is 23-year-old Patrick Reed.

On Sunday afternoon, after proclaiming his greatness, Reed battled his way to a 72 on Trump National Doral and a one-stroke victory over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Reed is the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship. His wire-to-wire victory at the Blue Monster was his third PGA Tour title since last August.

As Doug Ferguson pointed out in his AP story, Reed has now racked up three wins in 14 tour starts and moved to No. 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is not quietly confident.

Reed afterward: "I don't see a lot of guys that have done that besides Tiger Woods and the legends of the game. I believe in myself, especially with how hard I've worked. I'm one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I've proven myself."

Meanwhile, the man who made red and black fearsome on Sunday struggled to a final-round 78 in the pairing directly ahead of Reed and Jason Dufner. Woods nursed an ailing back during a final 18 that included no birdies. Tiger's status is uncertain, but he hopes to be ready for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Postscript

In other red and black news, San Diego State (my alma mater) beat New Mexico on Saturday night to win the Mountain West in basketball. The Aztecs are ranked No. 8 as they head into the conference tournament this week. Sorry to veer off topic, but I couldn't help it. Actually, I could help it, but I didn't want to.

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