In an interview aired by NBC during coverage of Sunday’s final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Patrick Reed said that he feels that he is one of the top five players in the world. The social media sphere lit up following that statement, but now it seems like he might be on to something.
After all, as they say, it isn’t bragging if you can back it up.
Reed still has plenty of work to do if he truly wants to crack that upper echelon of the game and be mentioned alongside the likes of Tiger Woods – whose Sunday red Reed copies – or Rory McIlroy, but his victory at the new Blue Monster at Trump National Doral was a major step in his young career.
As wire-to-wire wins go, this one was anything but easy. Reed struggled a bit down the stretch, but three birdies in his first four holes gave him a huge cushion on the field, and all he really had to do was play it safe. Even though he found himself in trouble, he gave himself two putts on the 18th hole to win, and it was all over.
Reed is just 23 years old, but even before he heads to his first career major at the 2014 Masters Tournament, he’s proven he’s got what it takes to compete with the best. The field at Doral this week was the strongest of the year, and even though Reed gave back a few strokes at the end, it was enough to hold off Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson, who finished one back of Reed at 3-under-par.
A less-confident player might have seen those names, especially Watson, climbing the board behind him and let it slip away, but Reed would not allow that to happen.
“I have a lot of confidence in my game. It’s one of those things that you build by how hard you work,” Reed told USA TODAY. “And I feel like I’m one of the hardest workers out here, and it definitely shows.”
That it does. Reed has earned his place in the discussion of the best players in the world, as just the fifth player to win three PGA Tour titles before his 24th birthday. Those other players? Woods, McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. Reed has issued a statement, and I doubt he’ll let things change even now that he’s got a view from the top.