By Matt Smith
DUBAI (Reuters) – American Patrick Reed shrugged aside his playoff heartbreak in China last week to move within three shots of the lead after a seven-under 65 on Friday in the second round of the DP World Tour Championship.
The portly Reed had to settle for second place at Shanghai’s BMW Masters on Sunday after losing a playoff to Swede Kristoffer Broberg – his playing partner in Dubai where the American was again in contention at the European circuit finale.
Dressed in black like a Wild West outlaw, Reed often plays the villain, having shushed the Ryder Cup crowd in Scotland in 2014 and muttered offensive language at another event that year plus other on- and off-course indiscretions.
But the 25-year-old was professionalism personified on Dubai’s Earth course as he started the day on two-under before picking up shots at holes one, five and six .
Bogeys at nine and 12 had halted his charge, but a birdie at 10 plus five birdies in the last six holes, including a tricky 12-foot downhill putt on the par-five 14th, propelled Reed up the leaderboard with an aggregate nine-under 135.
Only England’s Andy Sullivan (132) and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo (133) have scored lower.
“I felt like my speed was a little better today, made a couple more putts. I still left two short ones out there that I felt like I shouldn’t,” said Reed.
He is one of the few Americans to be a European tour member and has enjoyed three straight top-10 finishes since mid-October, including on Sunday when he lost out to Broberg, who carded an aggregate 143 in Dubai.
Reed added: “I never really got to know him (Broberg) until last week – we had a great time together even on Sunday.
“You would think it would be a little bit more intense but his caddie and him are great guys. We enjoyed ourselves and today we enjoyed ourselves while we were out there.”
(Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Ken Ferris)