Reed delivers clutch putts to win FedEx Cup opener

Patrick Reed leads PGA event in New Jersey as Aussies slide down leaderboard

Patrick Reed leads PGA event in New Jersey as Aussies slide down leaderboard

Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters victor, also affectionately known as Captain America for his exploits in the Ryder Cup, or because he still wears the gear on the PGA, seems finally to have gotten over the hangover from his lone major victory.

His final-round 69 was enough for Reed to maintain the one-stroke advantage he'd started the final day with, handing him his first win since his triumph at last year's Masters. "Hearing Captain America and U.S. all week, it was definitely a good time to get a W". His odds of the $15 million prize increased greatly.

The American's self-imposed three-week break from golf in May and June proved just the tonic - on Sunday, Reed won The Northern Trust by a shot in New Jersey.

Reed, who closed with a two-under 69 for a winning total of 16-under 268, said Georgia was on his mind on Sunday.

The 29-year-old has made a huge case for a place on the US President's Cup Team by pulling off an impressive feat, going into Liberty National and shooting rounds of 66,66, 67, and two-under 69 on Sunday, to notch the seventh PGA Tour win of his career.

While DeChambeau contended that he was being unfairly singled out, he admitted to taking too long at times and said he was in favour of penalty strokes being handed out. Birdies at the 12th and 13th moved Rahm to 16-under, but he faded with bogeys at the 14th and 15th. But his approach to the 18th came down below a ridge, and his long birdie putt to force a playoff went some 6 feet by the cup. However, Ancer should be consoled by his best ever PGA Tour finish.

That was enough to send him from No. 67 to No. 8, with more perks that he could count. The victor of the Tour Championship in two weeks will finish atop the standings and capture a $15 million prize.

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"The only thing I have to worry about is still play some good golf tomorrow and that will take care of itself", Ancer said.

The first eight players have been confirmed for the 2019 European Solheim Cup team. "But then getting all this news that I'm going to the Tour Championship, playing all the majors, going to Masters, all that, I was like, 'Man, this is not too bad.' I'm extremely happy, proud of the way I performance. I still obviously want that W, but really proud with all the boxes that I checked off today". Abraham Ancer, who was paired with Reed in the final group on Sunday, and Harold Varner III each jumped over 50 spots in the standings.

The most obvious example of Reed's tremendous ball-striking this week came on the par-3 14th hole where he took on a tucked pin used the back bank to scoot his tee shot to 8 feet before burying the birdie putt to get to 14 under. He made par on No. 4 before another birdie on No. 5. He missed the green short and right at 15, but muscled a pitch to 10 feet and drained the par putt.

Scott can not drop out of the top 30 in the standings who qualify for the Tour Championship even though there is still one event before the Atlanta, Georgia finale - the BMW Championship in Chicago. One of the strongest bids belonged to Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who was in the middle of the pack and knew it would be close.

Reed's game fell off, and he found himself well outside the list of automatic qualifiers, so much so that he basically needed to win here and this coming weekend at Medinah to earn one of the eight automatic qualifying places.

Varner might have had the biggest day in that regard. That not only gets him in the BMW Championship, he has a realistic shot at East Lake.

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