Golf

Golf: Reed earns Match Play spot after holding on at Humana

2014-01-19T16:48:00Z 2014-01-19T21:52:04Z Golf: Reed earns Match Play spot after holding on at HumanaThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 19, 2014 4:48 pm  • 

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Patrick Reed lost his putting touch for a few hours in the final round of the Humana Challenge. He found it when things were getting interesting.

After shooting three straight 9-under 63s to open a seven-stroke lead, Reed had a 1-under 71 on Sunday at PGA West’s Arnold Palmer Private Course to beat Ryan Palmer by two strokes. Palmer made a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a 63.

“It was tough out there,” Reed said.

Finally resembling the guy who talked Saturday about being in a “putting coma,” Reed ran in an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th to push his advantage to three strokes and parred the final three holes. He completed the wire-to-wire victory at 28-under 260.

“I started toward the end playing for par, just because I knew pars weren’t going to hurt me,” Reed said. “I knew someone was going to have to do something spectacular to catch me.”

Reed, 23, has two victories in his first 46 PGA Tour starts, winning the Wyndham Championship in August. He was projected to jump from 73rd to 42nd in the world ranking, enough to lock up a spot next month in the 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana.

Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard tied for third at 25 under. Johnson birdied the final five holes for a 62, the best round of the week.

European Tour

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal shot a final round 67 to end a near three-year winless drought to capture the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Sunday.

Larrazabal, 30, won by a stroke with a 14-under par 274 on the National Course in the UAE capital.

Rory McIlroy (68), who had incurred a two-stroke penalty a day earlier, finished with a share of second place with Phil Micklelson (69) on 13-under.

“I can’t describe how frustrating it is and feeling like I should be standing here at 15-under par for the tournament and winning by one,” McIlroy said.

Mickelson also was left counting the cost of incurring a shot penalty after a double hit while playing from brush on the 13th hole of the National course.

The British Open champion, who was leading at the time, finished the hole with a triple-bogey seven.

Champions Tour

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — Bernhard Langer birdied five of the last six holes Sunday to pull away from Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman and win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship by three strokes.

The 56-year-old German shot his second straight 64 in the final round of the winners-only event that opened the 35th season of the Champions Tour. He finished with a 54-hole total of 22-under 194 at Hualalai.

Langer and Couples shared the lead at 14 under going into the final day. Sluman was two back, but surged ahead at the turn, his fifth birdie putt taking him to 17 under.

Langer and Couples caught him at 18 under with birdies on No. 13.

Langer just kept rolling, two-putting for birdie on the next hole to grab the lead alone, then draining three more birdie putts from inside 12 feet.

Sluman closed with a 65. Couples, looking for his 10th Champions win, had a 67.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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