Reed it and weep: Patrick Reed wins The Barclays, as Rickie Fowler loses out on Ryder Cup spot
Reed rallies from an early two-shot deficit to win the FedEx Cup play-off opener and secures a spot on the US Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine
Patrick Reed had a crystal trophy, a clear shot at the richest pay-off in golf and a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
All he could offer Rickie Fowler was best wishes to join him at Hazeltine.
Reed picked up two victories Sunday at The Barclays. He rallied from an early two-shot deficit to win the FedEx Cup play-off opener and assure himself a clear shot at the $10 million bonus. And he secured a spot on the US team at Hazeltine that will try to win back the Ryder Cup.
“Everyone’s been talking about the Ryder Cup, been talking about, ‘Oh, you’re in the eighth spot and you’re on the bubble’ and all that,” Reed said after his one-shot victory. “If you go and win, it takes care of everything else. ... It takes care of everything.”
The way Fowler finished only leads to two weeks of uncertainty.
Fowler needed only to finish alone in third place, which was the farthest from his mind as he battled Reed at Bethpage Black.
“I wasn’t trying to get a decent finish,” Fowler said. “I was trying to win.”
Two shots behind with four holes to play – and two shots clear of third place – Fowler missed a 4-foot par putt on the 15th hole and made double bogey on the next hole. His late meltdown sent him to a 74, a tie for seventh and kept him off the Ryder Cup team.
Reed built a big enough lead that a few sloppy mistakes over the final hour didn’t matter. He made bogey on the final hole for a 1-under 70 and a one-shot victory over Sean O’Hair and Emiliano Grillo.
Fowler still could have made the Ryder Cup team with a birdie on the 18th hole. He missed another fairway and took bogey. It was the fourth time Fowler has failed to convert a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, though he remained optimistic.
“He just told me, ‘Hey, I’m going to go get my work done. I’ll see you in Minnesota,’” Reed said.
Sunday was the final day to earn eight automatic spots on the US team. Fowler’s late collapse allowed Zach Johnson to claim the eighth and final spot. Davis Love III still has four captain’s picks over the next three weeks.
Reed, who finished at 9-under 275, wasn’t the only player who felt like a big winner.
O’Hair was among five players who moved into the top 100 in the FedEx Cup, advancing to the next play-off event at the TPC Boston that starts on Friday. And he made a big move, closing with a 66 to tie for second. That moved him all the way up to No 15, assuring two more play-off events and giving O’Hair a good shot at staying in the top 30 who qualify for the finale at the Tour Championship.
Grillo birdied the final hole for a 69 and moved to No 6.
Defending champion Jason Day struggled all week with his accuracy and had to settle for a 69, tying for fourth with Gary Woodland (69) and Adam Scott (71).
Reed had gone 55 tournaments worldwide since starting 2015 with a victory at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. A bogey on the par-3 third hole put him two shots behind Fowler, but not for long. Reed made three birdies on the next four holes to tie for the lead.
Even so, Reed could sense another tournament slipped away. Just seven holes into the final round, he already had missed four putts from 10 feet or closer and began to think back to other lost opportunities that kept him from winning.
That’s when his caddie, brother-in-law Kessler Karain, told him to let it go and look ahead. A pair of tough par saves and a birdie at No 12 gave Reed a two-shot lead, and he was on his way.
Fowler missed the 11th fairway and ended his streak of 55 consecutive holes without a bogey, losing the lead in the process. Reed holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the next hole for a two-shot lead, and Fowler never got any closer.
Sung Kang matched the course record with a 64 to move from No 122 to No 88. John Huh, Tyrone Van Aswegan and Derek Fathauer also moved into the top 100, while Shane Lowry, Peter Malnati, Robert Streb, Lucas Glover and Jonas Blixt fell out and ended their season.
The top 70 after next week advance to the third play-off event, with the top 30 going to East Lake for the Tour Championship.
With his victory, which moves Reed to No 9 in the world ranking, Reed goes to No 1 in the FedEx Cup. He will be assured of being in the top five who only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the $10 million prize.