Patrick Reed tunes out critics, comes from behind to win WGC-Mexico
MEXICO CITY - A week that began with more biting criticism about his escapade in the sand in the Bahamas last December ended with an emphatic response from Patrick Reed.
Reed blocked out all the noise, deflected the condemnations and then stormed from behind on the back nine Sunday to win the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
En route to his second WGC title and eighth PGA Tour victory, the 2018 Masters champion shot rounds of 69-63-67-67 to finish at 18 under and one shot clear of Bryson DeChambeau.
World No. 3 Jon Rahm fell short of his bid to become No. 1 but finished third at 15 under alongside Erik van Rooyen, who celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot 68 to finish at 14 under and in fifth.
Overnight leader and world No. 4 Justin Thomas had a miserable final round, closing with a 73 to finish in a three-way tie for sixth with Hideki Matsuyama and Tyrrell Hatton.
Trailing by two with seven holes to play, Reed closed with birdies on 12, 15, 16 and 17 for the win. It was the perfect reply Reed was working toward considering the ongoing chatter about his conscience and his replies to claims of cheating.PUERTO RICO OPEN:WOODS SKIPPING HONDA CLASSIC:What's next for Tiger? Hovland becomes PGA Tour's first Norwegian winner
From Maui to Melbourne and a few parts in between, Reed has been roundly criticized for his incident in a waste bunker during the Hero World Challenge, where he improved his lie with two short practice swings and was penalized two strokes. Accusations of cheating soon followed.
This week Brooks Koepka said he wondered if Reed "was building sand castles" in the bunker. Former CBS broadcaster Peter Kostis said he saw multiple instances of cheating by Reed over the years. During this week's tournament, as well as in the Presidents Cup in Australia and the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, a few hecklers voiced their opinions.
Reed, 29, has just blocked out the uproar emanating from Bunkergate by plugging in his headphones, putting his nose to the grindstone and taking care of business.
"The biggest thing for me is any time you go to the golf course, pop in my headphones, get to work, and just really get in tune with every golf shot I hit because at the end of the day, you can't listen to what other people are saying. All you can control is what you do," Reed said this week.
"For me, I just go out there and try to play the best golf I can, try to improve on and off the golf course each and every day, and if I feel like I'm doing that, then I'm living the right way and I'm working as hard as I need to be working."
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In a regular weekly column on Rotoworld, we reflect on the tournaments just gone and also take an early peek at the action ahead on the PGA and European Tours. PGA TOUR/EUROPEAN
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