Kapalua, Hawaii: Patrick Reed never thought he had a serious chance to win at Kapalua until he stood over an 18-foot birdie putt in a playoff Monday.
Like so many other times in his young career, he didn't waste it.
Four shots behind with four holes to play, Reed made two birdies, holed an 80-yard shot for eagle and got just enough help from Jimmy Walker to win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for his fourth career PGA Tour victory.
"I thought my chances were slim," Reed said. "So I was just thinking to myself, 'Let's try to birdie three of the last four and get ourselves a chance to secure second alone, and give ourselves a chance — just maybe."
First, he holed a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th, and then the wedge on the 16th for eagle. And after a three-putt from 100 feet just off the green at 17 slowed his momentum, Reed two-putted for birdie from 80 feet on the par-5 18th for a 6-under 67.
Then it was up to Walker, who appeared to have control until he tried to play it safe off the tee on the short par-4 14th and found a bunker, leading to his first bogey in 33 holes at Kapalua.
Walker also twice missed birdie putts inside 10 feet, and missed an 18-foot birdie putt for the win in regulation.
He closed with a 69 to join Reed at 21-under 271.
In the playoff, Walker's chip went over the green, leaving him a 6-foot par putt. Reed closed it out first, though, by making his winning putt.
"It was there for me to win," Walker said. "It was a bummer I didn't close the door on it."
The 24-year-old Reed joined some elite company as the fifth player in the last 25 years to win at least four times on the PGA Tour before turning 25. The others were Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
"Everyone is trying to get to the best in the world," Reed said. "But that's going to take a long time. It's nothing that happens overnight."
The trick is to win, and Reed already has shown he has that knack with his fourth win in his last 35 starts on tour. But it was his first victory since the World Golf Championship at Doral, where he caused a stir by saying he was among the top five players in the world.
This moved him to a career-best No. 14, though he was more interested in what he could do get better.
Australian Jason Day matched the Plantation Course record with a 62 to finish a stroke back at 20-under 272, tied with Russell Henley and Hideki Matsuyama.
Day became the second player on Monday to tie the record after Chris Kirk shot a 62 as the first player out.
Henley closed with five straight birdies for a 67.
Matsuyama was tied with Walker at the start of the final round, but missed birdie chances on the last four holes to shoot 70.
Walker and Matsuyama were locked in a spirited duel over the front nine until Walker landed what appeared to be a knockout punch. He holed a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 8, hit a great fairway metal from a downhill lie onto the green at the par-5 ninth for a two-putt birdie, and then made a 10-foot putt at the 10th for his third straight birdie.
That gave him a three-shot lead over Matsuyama, and he kept that margin until he ended his bogey-free streak on the 14th hole.
In the group ahead of him, Reed birdied the 15th and took a share of the lead by making eagle on the 16th.
He looked as if he had wasted his big surge when he three-putted for bogey from just off the green 100 feet away, lipping out his 4-foot par attempt. But he reached the front of the 18th in two shots for a two-putt birdie.
It gave him a chance, and that was all Reed needed.
"I can't do anything about him. I can't control that," Walker said. "I can control what I was doing, and I wasn't doing my job."
Updated Date: Jan 13, 2015 19:19:02 IST