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How Patrick Reed's chance at making European Tour history slipped away

December 13, 2020

Late stumbles cost Patrick Reed in his quest to become the first America to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

Francois Nel

Patrick Reed’s bid to make history as the first American to be recast as “European No. 1” came up short at the DP World Tour Championship. Starting in a three-way tie for the lead on Sunday that would have been enough to see Reed win the season-long Race to Dubai title, the former Masters champion was still in prime, albeit precarious, position with a few holes to go.

Which is about the time things started to go wrong.

With three holes to play, Reed could only stumble home. Bogeys at the 16th and 17th were followed by a closing birdie—where he chipped-in for a third time to complete his closing two-under 70.

But that was too little, too late.

Lee Westwood, at 47, would instead wind up taking the Race to Dubai title for the third time in his career, the first coming 20 years ago. And Matt Fitzpatrick walked away the tournament champion, shooting a 68 to earn the $3 million first prize, winning by one over Westwood and two over Reed.

In truth the long-game issues that had plagued Reed during his third round, when he scrambled for a 71, never really went away on Day 4 for the 30-year-old Texan. Earlier in the week, Reed noted that he was still working through swing changes with instructor Sean Hogan. It was no coincidence that all of his five Sunday birdies resulted from that trio of chip-ins or came at par 3s, where Reed had no opportunity to miss the fairway.

And his verdict on all of the above? We’ll never know. The European Tour honorary member had nothing to say at close of play.