Mel Reid turned pro in 2007. A decade later, she earned her LPGA Tour card. Three years after that, she earned her maiden victory — and celebrated in style.
Reid made the last of her seven final-round birdies as she finished off a two-putt on the par-5 18th to close out a two-shot win. Then the celebration was on.
The 33-year-old, who is tremendously popular on tour, embraced caddie caddie Ryan Desveaux and then was promptly encircled and doused with champagne.
The win was hardly the first of Reid’s pro career — the England native has won six times on the Ladies’ European Tour — but it was likely the biggest. What made victory even sweeter was the heartbreak Reid suffered at the Cambria Portland Classic in her last start.
“Just after like Portland I wanted to redeem myself and just felt like I handed things a lot better today obviously,” she said, adding that she found fuel in a random Twitter doubter.
“You know what, I read a tweet yesterday, and it was probably one of the only bad tweets, that I got saying, ‘she’ll choke.’ It gave me a little bit of motivation. I’m going to reply to him tonight with this picture of me and the trophy and a big ‘shh’ face.
“It did give me a bit of motivation. I was like, ‘I’ve going to prove it.’ I know it sounds stupid, but probably the best thing I could have read. I’m definitely not letting that happen. Someone is going to have to beat me today. I’m not going to give it away.”
She did far better than that. Reid seized the tournament with four birdies in five holes around the turn, then put things on cruise control, pouring in clutch par putts down the stretch before she added an exclamation point with the birdie at No. 18.
After the round, she felt grateful — not just for the champagne showers but for everything the win represented.
“No, thank you to everyone,” she said. “Thank you so much guys for coming out. It makes it special when you got your mates here, and just all the messages I’ve had over the last few days, I do read them and I hugely appreciate it.
“There is a lot more too it than just me. I’ve got a whole team, friends. My friends are like my family, so just everyone involved, everyone deserves a drink tonight.”
Reid’s first instinct was to share the victory with her father, who she guessed was celebrating properly, too.
“I’m so emotional. Like 100%, yeah, I just want to call my dad to be honest,” Reid said. “He’s probably in the pub. He’s probably not coherent right now. Hopefully he’s watching it in the Black Swan. Yeah, probably not coherent right now, so if he can just say a couple words that will be nice.”
Reid said she was thinking of her parents on the last hole. Her father, Brian and her mother, Joy, were driving near Munich to watch Reid play an LET event in 2012 when they got in a head-on car crash. Joy died early the next morning from her injuries.
“Yeah, I mean, just we’ve been through a lot as a family, especially that as well as recently,” Reid said. “Yeah, I mean, when I had a two-footer to win I was just thinking about it a little bit. Yeah, I mean, my blood was her blood, so she is still kind of — I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m part of her. So I’m just really, really proud I managed to get it done.”
Jennifer Kupcho finished runner-up at 17 under, two strokes back of Reid. The LPGA Tour returns to major championship play next week for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Aronimink.