Reed after Humana win: Goal is 'multi-win years'

Patrick Reed during the third round of the Humana Challenge.

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Patrick Reed was in the middle of his post-victory news conference at the Humana Challenge when a woman approached him at the front table, handed him an old-style flip cellular telephone and said former President Bill Clinton was on the line. Call it one of the perks of success.

“It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be, but I was able to close it out,” Reed told Clinton, whose foundation is a tournament partner and beneficiary.

Reed’s sentence was succinct and spot on. He started the final round with a seven-stroke lead after becoming the first PGA Tour player to record 63 or better in the first three rounds. Then he closed with 71 for 28-under 260 and hung on to win by two shots over Ryan Palmer (63) and three over Zach Johnson (62) and Justin Leonard (65) at the PGA West Palmer Private Course.

No player in Tour history has lost a 54-hole lead of more than six shots, and Reed didn’t largely because he made a key par save from 5 feet at No. 13 and a 17-footer for birdie at 15. He didn’t go low a fourth day mainly because he left several putts short. He took 32 putts, seven more than his average the first three days when he almost felt he was “in a putting coma” and couldn’t miss hitting a hole that seemed “huge.”

He made four bogeys in his first 12 holes Sunday after only two the first three rounds. It was the husky 23-year-old’s second Tour victory in nine starts, dating to the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., heady stuff for someone in his second full season. Sounding like a young Tiger Woods, he said he was able to get by with “probably my C or D game” on the final day.

Reed and his pregnant wife, Justine, bought a new house and two cars after the first victory, in which she caddied. He pledged to keep going after the second, in which he broke by two strokes the Tour record for most under par (27) for 54 holes and led Palmer to say, “It’s ridiculous what he did.” Reed, the former Augusta State star from Spring, Texas, said he can accomplish many more victories if he fixes a couple of flaws, most notably feeling more comfortable hitting cut shots and when there’s trouble left. Other than that, he’s highly confident, thanks in large part to dialed-in equipment and work he has done with instructor Kevin Kirk.

“My goal is multi-win years, not just one win a year,” Reed said.

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