Patrick Reed: ”I’m one of the top five players in the world.”

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With his win in the WGC-Cadillac, Patrick Reed has ascended to the top 20 of the rankings.

When 23 year old Patrick Reed walked off the 18th green, the youngest ever to win the WGC–Cadillac Championship, he said he felt like he had proven himself: ”I’m one of the top five players in the world.”

Strong words. A year ago at this time as a rookie, he was ranked 369th in the world. Reed is expected to break into the top 20 this week.

Yes, he has proven himself. Reed has done it every level. In 2007, he was the Louisiana High School Player of the Year while at University Lab in Baton Rouge. His college career at Augusta State resulted in two NCAA titles. He has now joined some very exclusive company. Since 1990, only Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia have three PGA Tour wins before turning 24.

The WGC win was Reed’s third win in seven months against the best in the world, this time over the tough, remodeled Blue Monster at Doral under the helm of Donald Trump. Reed’s four-under score with rounds of 68-75-69-72 bettered by a single stroke both Jamie Donaldson and Bubba Watson, the only other two players in the field to break par for the championship.

Reed’s first win came at the Wyndham with his wife Justine as his caddy. His second win was the Human Challenge. He has gone from Monday qualifying rounds in 2012 to now having career earnings of over $5 million.

Reed first captured people’s attention in 2012 when he qualified via Monday efforts for an impressive six PGA Tour events, with the Zurich Classic among the half-dozen. He just missed making it through the qualifier for the US Open at Lakewood, firing a 67 on a course he had never seen, making double bogey on the starting hole, a par 5 and three putting #17, to end up in a second alternate position.

SportsNOLA.com covered the qualifier event on May 9, 2012 and interviewed Reed after his round. He was solid with that 67 but said, “I am tired and going home to Houston to rest.” We were ahead on the curve on this meteoric rise with these very prophetic words from nearly two years ago: “Keep an eye on this up-and-comer.”

The whole golf world now knows Patrick Reed. He has arrived.

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