The Barclays 2016
Round 4 - Patrick Reed wins title and Ryder Cup spot
August 29, 2016
Patrick Reed had a crystal trophy, a clear shot at the richest payoff 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 playoff opener and assure himself a clear shot at the $10 million bonus. And he secured a spot on the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 playoff event at the TPC Boston that starts 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 playoff 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 playoff 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.
Round 3 - Ricky Fowler edges ahead
August 28, 2016
American Olympic team mates Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed will have one eye on victory and another on the Ryder Cup in the final round of The Barclays on New York's Long Island on Sunday.
Fowler has a one-stroke lead over his compatriot after Saturday's third round in the first of four events making up the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoff series.
Extending his bogey-free streak to 45 holes, Fowler sank a four-foot birdie at the last to edge ahead with a three-under 68 on the tough Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale.
He posted a nine-under 204 total while overnight leader Reed carded a 71 to sit alone in second place. Australian Adam Scott (65) was a further shot adrift on seven-under after finding his putting touch to post the lowest round of the tournament.
Scott was also helped on his way when he holed out for an eagle from 95 yards at the first hole.
As well as the victory here, Fowler and Reed are vying for Ryder Cup selection. The top eight on the points list on Sunday night automatically make the American team to face holders Europe in five weeks.
Reed is currently eighth with Fowler four places below.
Fowler probably needs a top-three finish on Sunday to lock down a spot and avoid having to sweat out banking on being called up as one of captain Davis Love's four wild card picks.
"I think it's pretty simple. We've just got to go take care of business tomorrow," Fowler told reporters.
"It's been a while since I've been in this position... I'm looking forward to it. It's been a long time coming."
Fowler's long game has been far from perfect this week but he acknowledged his short game had allowed him to move ahead.
"It was nice to see some putts go in. Short game has definitely been nice this week to save me at times," he added.
"Sometimes hitting good putts but also hitting good pitch shots. Good combination but nice to have the putter finally working a bit."
Reed, meanwhile, battled a wayward driver on the front nine, but did enough to stay well in contention.
"My tee shots were off, hanging right," he said. "Felt like I got absolutely nothing out of my round.
"Any time I tried to hit my draw, seemed like it went right. That's really the only thing I feel like I need to fix.
"You can't play out of the rough here and I felt like I was playing out of the rough all day. Shooting even par isn't that bad of a score."
Reed finished in a tie for 11th behind Briton Justin Rose as golf marked its return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence in Rio earlier this month. Fowler was back in a tie for 37th.
Third-placed Scott decided late in the second round to putt more aggressively and it paid off on Saturday as he sank a couple of long ones.
"I just thought, 'what difference does it make if I hit this past the hole, because I've left every putt short?'. And if it goes past, it might go in."
Round 2 - Patrick Reed moves two ahead
August 27, 2016
Patrick Reed's place in the Ryder Cup is looking better with each round at The Barclays, and so are his prospects of winning.
Even with a careless finish Friday at Bethpage Black, Reed rode a fast start to a 3-under 68 and a two-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo and Rickie Fowler going into the weekend of the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
The Barclays is the final tournament for Americans to earn one of the eight automatic spots on the Ryder Cup team. Reed, who has gone 55 tournaments worldwide since his last victory, came into the week at No. 8.
At the moment, that's no longer a concern.
''Really, I'm going into this week trying to win a golf tournament,'' Reed said. ''If I take care of me and do what I need to do this week, then Ryder Cup will take care of itself. So I'm not going into this week looking at it as, 'Oh, I need to do this for the Ryder Cup.' I'm going in this to think, 'All right, I need to go win a golf tournament.'''
Reed was at 8-under 134.
Fowler mostly likely needs third place alone to have any chance of qualifying for the Ryder Cup, and he has done his part. He played bogey-free in the sweltering heat, though still missing plenty of birdie chances. Par is never bad on the Black Course, however, and Fowler shot a 69.
He has dropped only one shot all week, missing a 4-foot par putt Thursday that spun out of the back of the cup.
''Any time you can go bogey-free out here at this place, it's good golf,'' Fowler said. ''Feel very good about my ball-striking and tee-to-green right now. See if we can get some more putts to go in.''
Grillo also had a 69, opening with a double bogey and finishing with a bogey.
Ryan Moore (68) was three shots behind, while defending champion Jason Day (70) and Jordan Spieth (67) were four back.
Day tied for the lead early in the round when he ran off four straight birdies on the easier front nine. But his tee shots got wild, he finished some swings with only one hand on the club, and he dropped four shots around the turn.
''I'm really looking forward to the weekend,'' Day said. ''I feel like I'm really close.''
Spieth missed the cut at The Barclays a year ago, and he started off Friday in that direction when his approach to the tough 10th buried in the lip of a deep bunker. Spieth had to play away from the green and made double bogey.
And then he decided to start over. His caddie, Michael Greller, told him to forget the hole ever happened and try to get those two shots back before making the turn. He eventually did, and then a lot more.
Spieth played shot 31 on the front nine, including a 6-iron that hopped out of the rough to 3 feet on the par-5 fourth hole for an eagle, and shot a 67 to get back into the mix. He still has a lot of ground to make up on Patrick Reed. Still, this round could have gotten away from him early.
''Resetting a goal there is really key for me to get my mind away from what happened and look forward,'' Spieth said. ''I know it's such a tough golf course. It's rare when we play tournaments on courses this challenging. Normally they're majors. But 4 under makes up a lot of ground.''
It moved Spieth up to a tie for fifth, which beats having the weekend off.
Spieth is among the few who only have to think about the end of the FedEx Cup. He is No. 5 in the standings, and he already has clinched a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
The top 100 in the FedEx Cup advance to the next playoff event outside Boston next week, and 13 players outside the top 100 were eliminated when they didn't advance to the weekend. As for the Ryder Cup, three players who missed the cut can no longer qualify - Bill Haas, Kevin Na and Daniel Summerhays.
Bethpage, host of the U.S. Open twice, showed how it can punish bad shots. Kevin Chappell one shot behind until he went bogey-double bogey-bogey to finish his round, posting a 72. Reed could have avoided his own sloppy finish. He three-putted from 30 feet on No. 16, bounced back with a 5-iron to 2 feet for birdie on the 17th, and then opted for driver on the closing hole.
He was thinking 3-iron off the tee to play short of the bunkers. His caddie suggested driver for a shorter shot into the green, particularly because Reed had hit driver beautifully over the previous hour. This one went enough left to find a bunker, however, leading to another bogey.
Round 1 - Patrick Reed & Martin Laird lead
August 26, 2016
Patrick Reed didn't break anything Thursday except par.
Two days after Reed broke the gavel during the ceremonial closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the American kept a clean card and shot 5-under 66 to share the lead with Martin Laird at The Barclays.
Reed was dressed in a blue blazer with an American tie when he was asked to bang the gavel three times at the stock exchange closing on Tuesday. On the third hit, the top of the gavel flew off into the crowd, and Reed later made a joke at his own expense on Twitter.
''They told me to give it 3 good hits, so I did!'' he tweeted.
He was much better with a golf club in hand at Bethpage Black, running off three birdies and an eagle on the front nine to close out his 66.
The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, with a $10 million bonus waiting at the end, was more about a cup that doesn't pay a dime. A dozen or so Americans are still in the mix to make the Ryder Cup team. Qualifying ends after this week for the top eight, and then Davis Love III has four captain's picks over the next month.
Reed is winless this year and holding down the No. 8 position in the Ryder Cup standings.
''Of course it's on my mind,'' Reed said. ''But really at the end of the day, it's just trying to get better and play this tournament. Because if I play well, that means those other guys are going to have to play even better to try to catch me.''
Reed and Laird, who also played bogey-free, were one shot ahead of three other Ryder Cup hopefuls - Rickie Fowler, Kevin Chappell and J.B. Holmes, whose 67 was the best score among those who played in stronger wind in the afternoon. Defending champion Jason Day, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, was among those at 68.
Of the 18 players who broke 70, five played late.
Chappell likely would have to win The Barclays to make the team, while Fowler needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to have a mathematical chance. Fowler went from Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics to North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship to help his cause, but only tied for 22nd.
''That's the No. 1 priority coming into the year,'' Fowler said. ''I'd say that's always one of the main goals coming into a Ryder Cup year. Even in the off year, you're thinking about it. That was the whole reason playing last week, trying to get more points. It would be nice to have a chance to make that team without having to get picked.''
Holmes dropped to No. 9 last week. He has made his points mainly through the majors - a tie for fourth at the Masters, third at the British Open - but as he got closer to making the team, the pressure has increased. He has missed the cut in his last three events, and he couldn't afford another one.
He spent two hours on the putting green looking for a solution, and might have found it.
''It was really good,'' he said. ''Had to stay calm today and tried to let go of the results,'' Holmes said.
Laird is only interested in the FedEx Cup.
The Barclays is the start of a four-tournament series in which the field size shrinks until 30 qualify for the finale at the Tour Championship. Laird started at No. 89, and with only the top 100 in the standings advancing, starting well was crucial.
He also played bogey-free at Bethpage Black on a warm day with the wind picking up late in the morning as he was making the turn.
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, the No. 2 seed in the FedEx Cup, recovered from a bogey-bogey start to post a 70, while Adam Scott (No. 3) shot 69.
Jordan Spieth played for the first time since the PGA Championship and didn't feel much rust as he made three birdies in seven holes. Bethpage is relentless, and so was the wind, and when the Texan struggled to find fairways, he started dropping shots. Spieth wound up with a 71.
''It's up there in the top few toughest courses I've ever played,'' Spieth said. ''If they made the greens firm today, it would have been unplayable on a few holes. It was very tough, challenging, but fair today. We just had it really, really tough in the afternoon with those winds so high.''