Patrick Reed buries latest controversy with victory in California

Patrick Reed stands on the South Course while holding his trophy (AP)
2:06am, Mon 01 Feb 2021
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Patrick Reed shook off his involvement in another rules controversy to claim a five-stroke win and his ninth PGA Tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open in California

The American was awarded a free drop and saved par on Saturday after what he later described as a “textbook” call to handle a ball he believed did not bounce before settling in the rough on the par-four 10th.

The Ryder Cup star, who was penalised two strokes for appearing to deliberately improve his lie in a bunker at the Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge in December 2019, pushed ahead undaunted on Sunday to close with a four-under 68 at Torrey Pines.

The 30-year-old eagled with a 45-foot putt on the par-five sixth before coming home strongly with a birdie on the final hole that saw him finish with a 14-under 274 through the tournament.

Fellow Americans Tony Finau, Ryan Palmer and Xander Schauffele were five strokes back and tied for second with Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Henrik Norlander of Sweden.

Rory McIlroy was the best of the British after he dropped eight spots from the previous day to finish tied for 16th.

The Northern Irishman started poorly with bogeys on the 10th and 13th before he double-bogeyed on the par-four 15th, while England’s Tom Lewis emulated Reed with a birdie on the 18th to finish tied for 42nd on one under.

The victory, Reed’s largest margin on the PGA Tour, pushes the former Masters champion 55 spots up the FedEx Rankings for him to finish a weekend of controversy ranked 10th.

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