SAN DIEGO — Patrick Reed was so unaffected by a rules controversy a day earlier that he won the Farmers Insurance Open by five shots, the biggest margin in his nine career PGA Tour victories.
Reed closed with a 4-under-par 68 at Torrey Pines Golf Club, making an eagle on the par-5 sixth and finishing off his dominating Sunday with a birdie on the 18th hole of the South Course, which will host the U.S. Open this summer.
The 2018 Masters champion finished at 14-under 274 after a consistent four days at the blufftop municipal layout overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The 30-year-old Texan who played college golf at Georgia and Augusta State shared the first-round lead with Sweden's Alex Noren, was in a group one shot off leader Viktor Hovland of Norway after 36 holes and then shared the lead with Mexico's Carlos Ortiz going into the final day.
Hovland closed with a 71 and tied for second with a trio of Americans — Tony Finau (69), Ryan Palmer (70) and Xander Schauffele (69) — and Sweden's Henrik Norlander (69). Spain's Jon Rahm — the highest-ranked golfer in the field at No. 2 — carded a second straight 72 to share seventh with Lanto Griffin (72) and Will Zalatoris (71) at 8 under.
The six-way tie for 10th at 7 under included Baylor School graduate Luke List, whose birdie on No. 18 was his sixth of a 66 as he matched his opening round after a 77 on Friday and a 72 on Saturday.
As for Reed, he said staying mentally strong and good play with his wedge and putter combined to "keep me in the golf tournament and really allowed me to have a fun stroll up 18."
The controversy arose on the par-4 10th Saturday, when Reed hit a 190-yard shot out of a bunker with a TV replay showing the ball bounced once before settling into the rough. Without waiting for an official, Reed picked up the ball to see if it was embedded. Reed told the official that no one in his group, as well as a nearby volunteer, saw it bounce. He was awarded a free drop and saved par in a round of 70.
On Sunday, Reed jumpstarted his round with a 45-foot eagle putt on No. 6 to get to 12 under and followed with a birdie on the par-4 seventh. His only bogey was on the par-3 eighth, and he rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. He played par the rest of the way until sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
"I was allowed to kind of put it behind me when the head rules official comes up and says you did everything you were supposed to do," Reed said. "When you do everything you're supposed to do, at the end of the day that's all you can control. Going into today, I felt good, I felt confident and really went to the golf course, plugged in my headphones and just kind of got in my world with my coach and got to that first tee."
Ortiz stumbled badly with a 78 that left him tied for 29th at 4 under.
Rory McIlroy (73) tied for 16th, eight shots out of the lead, but still was a big part of Sunday. With so much attention on Reed taking relief from the embedded lie Saturday, McIlroy had something similar happen on the 18th hole in the third round. When he finally found it, he determined it was embedded, informed the other two players in his group and dropped it into deep rough right of the fairway.
The PGA Tour issued a statement early Sunday saying both players proceeded under the rules. Reed took one extra step by calling for a rules official to confirm, though he had already removed the ball from where it had been.
'Rejuvenated' by presence of people at course
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Paul Casey left behind one of the unhappiest years of his golfing career, capturing his first title since September 2019 with a four-stroke win at the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic.
The 43-year-old Englishman struggled to adapt to what he described as the "soulless" playing environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, with his only top-10 finish in 2020 coming at the PGA Championship as he tied for second behind Collin Morikawa.
He traveled to Dubai having not played on the European Tour since the end of 2019. Aided by a new driver and a new mindset, he wound up easing to his 15th victory on the circuit — 20 years after his first — as he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 17-under 271. South Africa's Brandon Stone (72) was second, with Scotland's Robert MacIntyre (74) another stroke back in third.
"It's something very cool because it's not been great," said Casey, who could rise to as high as 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking. "I didn't enjoy my golf in 2020. I mean, I played well one week, but that was about it.
"It's been totally soulless. No emotion. A whole bunch of feelings. I've not enjoyed it. And I've realized how much I love doing what I do, but I love doing it in the environment with people watching and the crowd and the noise — it can be heckling, it can be cheering It's just everything."
Just having some people beside the fairways at Emirates Golf Club made him feel more alive.
"From 2020 to now, here, I'm rejuvenated," said Casey, who had carried a one-shot lead over MacIntyre into the final round. "I feel totally different."