Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Reed bogeyed two of the last four holes Sunday, but managed to hang on to a 1-stroke win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Reed closed with an even-par 72 to end at 4-under-par 284. This was his third PGA Tour title since August, and his first title on the European Tour.
"Staying patient. I was hitting the ball so well this week I felt like, and my putting was just outstanding. Whenever you're able to come to an event and feel very comfortable with your putting, it allows you to let a lot of pressure come off your shoulders," Reed stated.
"Around a golf course like this, you have to be confident, and I felt like I've done that very well."
Bubba Watson fired a 4-under 68 on Sunday and jumped into a share of second place. The 2012 runner-up ended alongside Jamie Donaldson (70) at minus-3. Donaldson was within one after a birdie on 17, but he bogeyed the last.
Richard Sterne (71) and Dustin Johnson (72) tied for fourth at even-par 288, while Stephen Gallacher (69), Thongchai Jaidee (68) and Bill Haas (71) were one stroke back at plus-1 at Doral.
Tiger Woods, who won this title for a seventh time last year, struggled to a 6-over 78 as be battled a bad back. Woods and Jim Furyk were the only two players without a birdie in the final round. This marked the eighth time in Woods' tour career that he did not have a birdie in the final round.
"It started on six, that second shot out of the bunker. That's what set it off, and it was done after that," Woods said of his back. "I was just trying to keep the spasms at bay, but anything in flexion was done. The deeper the flexion, the worse it felt."
Reed, who became the youngest ever winner of a World Golf Championship event, got off to a quick start. He kicked in a 3-foot birdie effort at the first, but gave the right back as he bogeyed the second.
The 23-year-old came right back with 23-foot birdie effort on No. 3 and made it two in a row as he drained a 19-footer for birdie on the fourth. That moved Reed to minus-6, where he was three clear of Johnson, who made an early charge before falling apart down the stretch.
Reed ran off nine consecutive pars from the fifth to remain atop the leaderboard. No one got within two during that span.
At the 14th, Reed missed the fairway off the tee and also missed the green with his approach. He chipped to three feet, but missed the short par putt to trim his lead to two.
Reed saw his lead over Donaldson dip to one as birdied the 17th. Donaldson knocked his approach into a greenside bunker at the last. He blasted to 13 feet and missed the putt to slide two behind.
Knowing he had that cushion, Reed played an iron off the 18th tee, then hit another iron down the fairway. He knocked his third to 32 feet and calmly 2- putted for bogey and the win.
"I've worked so hard. I won a lot in junior career, did great things in amateur career, was 6-0 in match play at NCAA's, won NCAA's two years in a row, got third individually one year, and now I have three wins out here on the PGA Tour," said Reed, of why he thinks he among the tour elite. "I don't see a lot of guys out here that have done that, besides Tiger Woods of course.
"I believe in myself, I believe I'm among the top five players in the world. To come out in a field like this and hold on wire-to-wire like that, I feel like I've proven myself."
Donaldson had a birdie and a bogey on the front nine. He started to make his move with a short birdie putt on No. 10 and an 8-foot birdie effort at the 14th.
The Englishman was two back at that point, but he ultimately tied for second after his bogey at 18.
Watson had a bogey-free round with a pair of birdies on both the front and back nines.
NOTES: Reed, who won the Wyndham Championship in August and the Humana Challenge earlier this year, earned $1.53 million for the victory ... Woods' 78 was his worst score ever in 47 rounds at Doral ... The European Tour heads to Morocco next week for the Trophee Hassan II, where Marcel Siem is slated to defend his title. The PGA Tour heads to Innisbrook for the Valspar Championship, where Kevin Streelman won by two last year.