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Patrick Reed shoots yet another 63

His 27-under total is a 54-hole record for the PGA Tour and gives him a seven-shot lead at the Humana Challenge.

January 18, 2014|Bill Dwyre
  • Patrick Reed shot a 63 for the third day in a row Saturday to take a seven-shot lead into the final round of the Humana Golf Challenge.
Patrick Reed shot a 63 for the third day in a row Saturday to take a seven-shot… (Matt York / Associated Press )

Stop the presses. Patrick Reed made a bogey on his 14th hole Saturday during the Humana Challenge.

But do not despair, all you Reed fans. He had already made an eagle on his seventh hole, No. 16. Along the way, just for fun, he sprinkled in eight birdies.

Yes, the same golfer who shot 63 on Thursday and 63 on Friday did it again Saturday. The line now reads: 63-63-63 — 189. That's 27 under par. The expectation about the drama level for Sunday's final round, as golf competes for TV viewers with the NFL playoffs, is lots of yawns.

Reed leads by seven shots. He has stomped the other players and stuck his thumb in their eyeballs. This is a tournament with a long tradition of laughter from its namesake, Bob Hope. Even the late comedian would agree about Sunday's round.

It's just for yuks.

Yes, there was the cautionary thought about last year's event, won in a playoff by Brian Gay. Going into Sunday, Scott Stallings led by five shots.

But they weren't having to put Stallings' putter in a bucket of ice between holes to control the sizzling. Thursday, Reed averaged 1.50 putts per green; Friday 1.438, and Saturday 1.429.

"It almost seems like I'm in a putting coma," Reed said Saturday.

You think?

He has played 54 holes, one round on each of the Palmer Private, La Quinta Country Club and Nicklaus Private courses, where he played Saturday. In those 54 holes, he has 25 birdies, 25 pars, two eagles and, yes, those two dreadful and embarrassing bogeys.

Soon, when athletes yammer on about being in the zone, they may change the terminology to "being in the Reed."

"We wanted the 63 today," Reed said. "Actually, we wanted 62, because that kind of seems like it's my hump, and I need to get over that 63."

Yes, he actually said that.

The previous PGA Tour record for turning par-72 courses into pitch-and-putts was 25 under after 54 holes. Gay Brewer was 25 under in 1967, Ernie Els in '03, Pat Perez in the Bob Hope in '09 and Steve Stricker in '10. Par was 72 for Brewer and Perez, 73 for Els and 71 for Stricker, who still holds the tour's overall 54-hole record with 188, one less than Reed.

Reed might not be a household name on the PGA Tour, but a few more tournaments like this and the question in golf will become: Tiger who?

Reed is a 23-year-old Texan, who led Augusta (Ga.) State to two national titles and secured his tour card 13 months ago in Q-School just down the street at PGA West's Stadium course. His wife, Justine, was his caddie then and for the start of his PGA Tour career, including his victory in August at the Wyndham.

"She read most of my putts for me," he said this week.

That was after he tested her will and willingness for lugging a golf bag around for her big lug. It was a steaming hot day in Greensboro, N.C., and Reed loaded the bag with bottles of water and got it to about 50 pounds. Didn't faze her, but Reed said he was dead tired just playing in the heat.

Now, Justine is pregnant and her brother is on the bag. But she plans to caddie on after the baby is born.

Barring a brain cramp by Reed or a meteor landing in the middle of a fairway during Sunday's final round at the Palmer Private Course, there will be plenty of money for diapers. First prize is $1.026 million.

In hot pursuit — OK, lusting after second place — are Charley Hoffman and Brendon Todd, both seven behind. James Driscoll is eight back, Bill Haas and Justin Leonard nine and the rest of the field hoping for a quick getaway and good traffic to Torrey Pines for next week's Farmers Insurance tournament.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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