Patrick Reed wins Northern Trust for first victory since Masters title
Patrick Reed led, and Abraham Ancer, Jon Rahm and others were among the chasers after 54 holes of the FedEx Cup Playoffs opener. Here’s what you missed on Sunday at The Northern Trust at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
Who won: Patrick Reed (two-under 69, 16 under overall)
How it happened: Reed led early but after just three holes his playing partner, Ancer, jumped out in front, only to have three others join him at 13 under minutes later. It was tight the rest of the front nine, and when Reed turned he was tied for the lead with Rahm at 14 under. Rahm made birdies on 12 and 13 to get to 16 under and lead by two, but he bogeyed the next two and Reed, with a birdie on the par-3 14th, jumped out in front by one with four to play — and Reed didn’t falter down the stretch. He got up-and-down for par on 15 and birdied 16 to lead by two, but Ancer made birdies on 16 and 17 to cut the lead to one with one to play. Ancer wasn’t able to birdie 18, and Reed knocked in a three-footer for par to win by one. Ancer (69) finished alone in second at 15 under for his best career PGA Tour finish.
Why it matters: Reed jumped to 11th in the world after he won the 2018 Masters, but he entered this week 24th and still looking for his first victory since his major title 16 months ago. The 29-year-old has now won seven times on the PGA Tour.
Best Presidents Cup audition: Reed entered the week 17th in the Presidents Cup standings, but after his win he’s projected to jump to 12th. Eight auto-qualifiers will be set after next week’s BMW Championship, and although Reed still has work to do to move up into those spots, his victory at Liberty National will look good on his resume when captain Tiger Woods sorts through potential captain’s picks this fall.
Best chip that we still can’t believe didn’t go in: Ancer barely missed trying the leaders on the 11th. This one stung, since he ended up just one off the lead.
Up next: The top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings head to the BMW Championship, which begins on Thursday at Medinah in Medinah, Ill. It’s the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and the top 30 in the standings after the BMW head to the following week’s Tour Championship. Tiger Woods’ status is uncertain after he withdraw from The Northern Trust prior to his second round tee time.