The harder he worked, the farther Patrick Reed felt he was falling behind. That’s when the people around him sought drastic measures by making him leave his golf clubs alone for 10 whole days.
Recharged from his pre-summer break, Reed finally found the result he was looking for Sunday in The Northern Trust, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
He delivered key shots on three straight holes on the back nine at Liberty National – two for birdie, one for par – to overtake Jon Rahm, hold off Abraham Ancer, close with a 2-under 69 and win the FedEx Cup opener.
It was his first victory in 16 months over 41 tournaments worldwide dating to the 2018 Masters.
“The longer that time period is in between wins, it just makes it tougher,” Reed said. “I was pushing too hard and was trying harder and all of a sudden, it was going the wrong direction. My team was smart enough to tell me to back off, shut it down and reset and get clear, because we can finish the year right. We can get a couple Ws, and no better place that starting the first week of the playoffs.”
Points are quadrupled in the PGA Tour postseason, so the victory vaulted Reed from No. 50 to No. 2. His place in the Tour Championship is secure. His odds of the $15 million prize are greatly increased.
It still wasn’t enough for him to get in the top eight qualifiers for the Presidents Cup, to be decided after next week. Reed went to No. 12 and he would have to win the BMW Championship next week to qualify.
Even so, it was the kind of victory to at least get the attention of U.S. captain Tiger Woods.
Reed finished at 16-under 268 and won for the seventh time in his career on the PGA Tour.
Ancer felt like a winner when it was over. He also played bogey-free over the final 12 holes, and his birdie on the 17th gave him hope. 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. He made that to finish alone in second, his best PGA Tour finish.
That was enough to send him from No. 67 to No. 8, with more perks that he could count.
Hur wins LPGA: Mi Jung Hur won the Ladies Scottish Open for her third LPGA Tour title, closing with a 5-under 66 in wet conditions for a four-stroke victory over fellow South Korean player Jeongeun Lee6 and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.
Hur finished at 20-under 264 at The Renaissance Club. She shot a 62 in the second round, taking just 24 putts.
Lee6, the U.S. Women’s Open champion, shot a 70. Jutanugarn had a 71. Jutanugarn’s sister, Ariya, won last year at Gullane.