So the Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth showdown at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly match the hype, but the finish befit what we might expect.
Spieth started off the Friday tilt for a spot in the Round of 16 with some extreme sloppiness. He flailed his opening tee shot out of bounds and pulled his approach at No. 2 into a hazard. A pair of opening double bogeys there allowed Reed to cruise to a 2-up lead.
Eventually, things got on track. By the 10th, Spieth was stuffing his approach to tap-in range for birdie and squaring the match. Reed didn’t back down. A Spieth bogey at 11 allowed Reed to move 1 up, and Reed birdied 13 to move 2 up. He was 3 up through 15 before Spieth took the 16th.
With Spieth needing to win the last two holes to halve the match and force a playoff between the two for a Round of 16 spot, Reed was not going to allow that to happen.
Reed faced a birdie putt of 40+ feet from off the green at Austin Country Club’s par-3 17th. If he made it, the match was over and he was onto the Round of 16.
This is Patrick Reed we’re talking about. Of course he made it.
Yep, that’s the Reed we’re used to in match play.
Maybe this match was sloppier than we wished – aside from that ghastly opening stretch, both missing putts inside 5 feet at the 12th is something you would never expect from this pair – but it was still nice to see them face off and at least we got this finish.
Just days after Reed joked that his name maybe needed to be Jordan Spieth to get a free drop, he got the upperhand on Friday.
For American fans, though, they can’t wait for these two to go back to playing as a team this fall in the Ryder Cup.