Patrick Reed was the Americans’ best Ryder Cup player in 2014 — finishing 3-0-1 at Gleneagles — and the 25-year-old flexed his match-play muscles again on Friday.
It was convincing, and, oh yeah, it was against Phil Mickelson.
Reed downed the 45-year-old veteran 5 and 4 during their matchup at the WGC-Dell Match Play to advance to the Round of 16 on Saturday. Reed and Mickelson were both 2-0 after their matches on Wednesday and Thursday, but Reed’s dominating win crowned him as the Group 9 winner and sent Mickelson home.
Touted as one of the marquee matches of the day, Reed turned it into a laugher early. He needed just pars on the first two holes to lead 2 Up and then went birdie-birdie-eagle on four, five and six to push his lead to 5 Up.
Reed made the turn at 6 Up and, just to rub it in, holed a shot from 95 yards out on the 10th for his second eagle of the match to go 7 Up (you can watch Reed’s two eagles below).
Mickelson rallied late and kept the duel alive. He parred the 11th — his first won hole of the day — and then halved the 12th and won the 13th with birdies. Reed sealed the match with a short par putt on 14.
Reed opens the Round of 16 by facing the Group 8 winner on Saturday morning. The winner of that moves on to the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.