Reed tames Liberty National to win Northern Trust

Patrick Reed during the third round of the Northern Trust in New Jersey

With the NY skyline in the distance, Patrick Reed, left, and Abraham Ancer look at their prospective putts on the 14th green at the Northern Trust golf tournament at Liberty National Golf Course, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Jersey City, N.J.

The 2018 Masters champion began his final round as the tournament leader, but struggled on the front nine.

Reed overcame a shaky start to Sunday's final round, and pulled away from the field with two late birdies to win The Northern Trust.

"Hearing "Captain America" and "USA" all week - it was a great time to get a W", Reed said.

He still has work to do, however, to lock up his spot in the top 30 who will battle it out for the $15 million FedExCup bonus at East Lake.

For much of the summer Reed's position on this year's Presidents Cup team wasn't really an issue as he struggled early in the season and he began this week's The Northern Trust 17th on the US points list, with next week's deadline to finish inside the top 8 (Aug. 18) and automatically qualify looming.

He shot a final round 2-under 69 and finished 8-under for the tournament, in a tie for 21st.

His fifth-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in June was his first top-10 on the PGA Tour since October previous year and he followed in with a 10th-place at The Open.

"I nearly felt like I pressed harder and worked harder and tried harder and therefore, it made me physically and mentally drained", said Reed. This was his seventh victory on the PGA TOUR. The top eight after the BMW Championship automatically qualify.

Ancer felt like a victor when it was over. 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. Ancer, one shot back, was pushing hard but despite birdies at the 16th and 17th, it was only enough to give him his best result on the PGA TOUR.

That was enough to send him from No. 67 to No. 8, with more perks than he could count.

It will be Scott's first appearance at the Tour Championship since 2016.

Dutch golfer Anne van Dam secured the final automatic spot in Catriona Matthew's Solheim Cup team to play the United States at Gleneagles in September. "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 the "W", but I'm really proud with all the boxes that I checked off today".

While Reed sorted his game out, Jon Rahm rose up the standings to claim the lead with three birdies on the front and two straight on 12 and 13. He hit the green in regulation on holes nine through 14, hitting a fantastic shot to eight feet at the par-3 14th, converting the birdie to retake the lead. Reed birdied his first hole before carding back-to-back bogeys. He missed the green short and right at 15, but muscled a pitch to 10 feet and drained the par putt. He made par on No. 4 before another birdie on No. 5.

Then, Reed closed strong.

After entering the week No. 102 in the FedExCup standings, Harold Varner III (T3/-14) moves to No. 29 in the FedExCup, a jump of 73 spots, the biggest improvement by any player this week.

Spieth, who had to put together a good round just to get into the BMW Championship next week did just that.

He tied for sixth with Rory McIlroy and Louis Oosthuizen, who each shot 69, and Brandt Snedeker, who had a 71.

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