(Reuters) - Patrick Reed tuned out the wind and the gallery to beat Jordan Spieth at the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas on Friday, sending the loser home to regroup for the Masters.
Reed did not play particularly well in strong winds at Austin Country Club, but did enough to dispose of his frequent American Ryder Cup partner 2&1.
“It was such a grind out there you had to focus so much on every shot, whether it was a wedge shot into the green or a three-foot putt,” Reed said after clinching victory by slamming home a 40-foot birdie putt from off the green at the 17th hole.
“You don’t expect to make pars and win holes, especially against a guy like Jordan.”
Fourth seed Spieth produced a mediocre performance that disappointed a huge gallery that cheered his infrequent good shots in the city where he went to college.
He hit awful drives at the first two holes, losing both to dig a hole from which he never recovered.
“Neither one of us played great golf today,” said the British Open champion.
“I had great control of my emotions. I felt I was positive at times where I could have gone the other way and have in the past.
“I don’t think it would have been that tough to beat me today. I just got a little off. Yesterday I could feel it after the round with my driver.
“It bit me on the couple of holes today trying to figure it out with a few out-of-play balls.”
Reed, the 19th seed, moved on to the round-of-16 knockout phase where he will face Swedish 13th seed Alex Noren on Saturday morning.
Spieth, meanwhile, will have the weekend off before playing next week’s Houston Open, where he will have a chance to sort out his game in time for the April 5-8 Masters.
“I’m proud of the way I fought after I could have shot who-knows today,” said the 2015 Masters champion.
“I’ll go back and get ready for the next couple of weeks.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford