Patrick Reed wins The Barclays crown
Watson and Mickelson fall away
Chasers struggle for consistency
Reed wins Ryder Cup place
American Patrick Reed won The Barclays tournament at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, by just one shot on Sunday, edging out competitors Sean O’Hair and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo.
Rickie Fowler had been one shot ahead of fellow American Reed going into the final round, but couldn’t maintain his lead, finishing equal seventh.
Fowler and Reed had quickly moved to 10 under for the tournament as they reached the seventh hole in the final round, with Grillo just one shot behind on the ninth.
Reed, whose last PGA Tour victory had come 20 months ago, was growing frustrated after some near-misses on the greens – but said his caddy, brother-in-law Kessler Karain, gave him some timely perspective.
“I’m sitting there going, ‘We should be six under par at this point and we’re sitting here at two,’” Reed told reporters Sunday. “He goes, ‘I don’t care.’ He goes, ‘That’s behind us.’ He’s like, ‘Let’s just keep hitting some good golf shots.’”
The advice worked as Reed, who tied for 11th at this month’s Olympics, clinched his fifth career victory and moved into top spot in the FedEx Cup standings. It also lifted him from 14th to ninth in the world rankings and secured him a place on the US team for next month’s Ryder Cup clash with Europe at Hazeltine.
“I feel great,” he said after taking the $1.5 million first prize and pushing his season earnings past $5 million. “Any time you can come from behind on Sunday to win a golf tournament, means you must be doing something right.”
Some of the biggest names in golf were unable to stay with the leading pack over the four rounds.
As the first of four FedEx Cup playoff tournaments entered the final round, both Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy found themselves slipping down the leader board.
Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson both finished on three under, and Scot Martin Laird, who was still challenging Fowler and Reed after the third round, bogeyed two holes on the front nine.
Australian Adam Scott, who shot a magnificent 65 on round three, also struggled for consistency with two bogeys and two birdies in the first eight holes of the day.
As the contest came to a climax, three more Americans – Gary Woodland, Sean O’Hair and Ryan Moore – were clustered with Australian world No. 1 Jason Day three shots off the lead but running out of holes.
Top golfers on the circuit like Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Jim Furyk all found the Bethpage course challenging.
Justin Rose, fresh from his Olympic triumph in Rio, appeared to have kept his humor throughout the tournament though, retweeting a picture of a sign that reads: “The Black course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend for highly skilled golfers.”
This week Fowler will defend his Deutsche Bank Championship title at TPC Boston as the playoffs field is whittled down from 125 players to the top 100 in the standings.
Despite closing with a 74, he moved up to 16th overall and boosted his chances of earning one of the four captain’s picks for next month’s Ryder Cup clash with Europe.