Patrick Reed has vaulted to number two in the FedEx Cup standings after claiming his seventh PGA Tour title at The Northern Trust
Reed ended a 16-month winless drought with a final round two-under 69 to best Abraham Ancer by one-shot during a thrilling final day battle at Liberty National GC.
His victory, which saw him convert a three-foot par putt at the last to finish on 16-under-par, moved him up 48 spots on this year's FedEx Cup rankings in to second place ahead of the final two events of the playoffs.
“It’s a amazing just to be back to feel like I’m playing some solid golf," said Reed. "To finally have it, you know, pay off. And for it to, you know, come out as a victory. It’s been a while. It’s been a little too long, honestly. But what better place to do it than here. We have the Statue of Liberty in the background, the Presidents Cup was here in ’17, and hearing ‘Captain America’ and ‘USA’ all week, it was definitely a good time to go ahead and get a ‘W.'
"It was a grind out there today, that's for sure. Felt amazing being back in that position, having a chance to go into Sunday with the lead and to kind of flip the round throughout the middle of the round today was a great feeling to do. Didn't feel that great early on. My caddie, Kessler, told me to keep me it and to tell me, once we got through the 7th hole, he's like, "Hey, you've hit two greens in seven holes, you can birdie both of them, so just hit greens and we'll be okay."
"You know, he kind of got my mind on just hitting greens rather than trying to be really aggressive since I lost the lead at that point, and you know, I was able from there to build up a little confidence and kind of get going on that back nine. Was able to finish it off there on the last."
Reed held the overnight lead and extended his advantage to two shots immediately with a gain at the first, but he quickly slipped with back-to-back bogeys from the second to move in to a tie on 13-under.
Ancer got the upper hand with a birdie of his own to move to -14, but handed back two shots on the fourth and sixth holes while Jon Rahm, Adam Scott and Harold Varner III chased down the top of the leaderboard.
Scott set the clubhouse target at 13-under but Rahm was quick to move up to 15-under with three birdies on his opening nine, while Reed paired three birdies with three bogeys to make the turn on 14-under.
Rahm dropped a shot at the 11th but moved ahead to 16-under-par with a pair of birdies at the next two holes, although his reign at the top was short-lived when he added back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th.
Harold Varner III went on a run to reach 14-under with three consecutive gains, but Reed pushed out in front at the par-three 14th to move one clear, and added a second at the 16th to get to -16.
Ancer responded with back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17, leaving Reed one shot clear heading down the last, which he would turn in to a relatively straight-forward par to win this event for the second time in four years.
And for Reed, the bonus is a big move in the FedEx Cup standings, and his strategy is to remain aggressive.
“It’s just the beginning," Reed said of his position in the playoffs. "It’s the first playoff event. The good thing was that I felt like I was playing well all year, just haven’t gotten the finishes, so I was way down there in FedEx. So to come out and get the ‘W’ this week and to climb that board really quickly and get up to second . . . now it’s just go out, rest up tomorrow and start playing aggressive again and try to get up there as high as I can going into East Lake."
The FedEx Cup: The big movers
In addition to Patrick Reed's move up 48 places, there were a few other players who guaranteed they'd be playing another week or two.
Harold Varner III was the biggest jump of the week, his third place finish moving him from 102nd to 29th, while runner-up Abraham Ancer moved up 59 places from 67th to 8th,
Jordan Spieth's sixth place finish moved him comfortably in to next week, going from 69th at the start of the week to 44th - although he's still got work to do if he wants to make it to East Lake after missing out last year. Louis Oosthuizen might be a bit luckier though, having moved to 28th (up 23 places).
It was also good news for Troy Merritt, Wyndham Clark and Joaquinn Niemann, who all played their play in to next week.
As for who didn't make it: Matthew Wolff, Danny Lee, Kevin Streelman and Sergio Garcia all started the week inside the top 70 but were pushed out by others and won't be there for the second playoff event.