Patrick Reed kicked off the unofficial start to the 2015 PGA Tour season in style, taking the Hyundai Tournament of Champions Monday in a playoff over Jimmy Walker. Reed leaned on a stellar ball striking week to lead his way to victory.
During the 2015 PGA Tour season, we will be providing you with a weekly analysis discussing what allowed the winner to achieve greatness over the four day event!
This week’s event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, is made up of players who have won official PGA Tour events during last year’s season. This event provides an intimate field for many of the world’s top players, who will all be competing for a winning purse of 1.1 million US dollars.
It was an exciting end to this years event as Reed eagled No. 16 and then birdied No. 18 to fire a final round 67, placing him in a two-man playoff with Jimmy Walker. Walker was on the top of the leader board all week, and was the leader entering today’s final round. The playoff began on the Plantation courses 18th hole, one of the better par 5’s on tour, and didn’t last long as Reed drew first blood with a birdie on the first playoff hole. This was Patrick Reed’s fourth victory in just under two years as his stock continues to soar as one of America’s top young talents.
Patrick Reed has been at the top of the PGA Tour’s Strokes Gained (Tee to green) category over the last year or so, which compares each round to the rest of the field in that particular event. He is currently No. 2 in this category since the PGA Tour’s new schedule started in October of 2014. One of the keys to his overall success on tour, and success in this category, has to do with the consistency of the path in which his golf club travels while also providing the proper club face to match his desired ball flight, which is a draw.
Above I have three photo’s showing positions Patrick Reed displays that I would love to see in any golfer attempting to draw the golf ball. In the first photo, beginning on the left, Reed begins the back swing tracing the club head nicely up the swing plane with the club face in a square position. The second photo (middle) shows Reed in the downswing shallowing the golf club. He’s able to do this by beginning the motion from the ground up as he begins his downswing with a sequence of the hips, torso, and then arms. This is a huge key I see in tour players that really sets them apart from all other golfers! These players are able to use the ground in a way that provides power and allows that particular player to have a positive repeatable motion under high stress situations. Finally, the last photo on the right shows Reed using the ground to explode upward through impact as his hands are moving slightly rightward through the strike. This is a great look for any golfer looking to draw the golf ball.
For those out there looking to draw the golf ball take a page from Patrick Reed’s book. Use the first image as a good reminder and rotate to the top of the backswing. Now as you begin the downswing think about the hands working deeper behind the body as your hands work on an in-out path. The final photo on the right is a good visual!
Next week the PGA Tour is island hopping over to Honolulu where they will play this years Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. Jimmy Walker will be defending his 2014 title and looks to have a great chance of repeating if he can continue his strong play. Stay tuned for next week’s Winner Circle!