12 August 2019: Sometimes in life, two steps back takes you a mile forward. Patrick Reed is reaping the rewards of taking time out from golf and making the most of it. The 2017 Masters champion stamped his authority on the FedEx Cup playoffs with a patient effort all week at the Liberty National Golf Club. Reed scored a one-stroke victory over Abraham Ancer at 16-under 268, jumping from 50th to second in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Reed’s victory also helps him put his name into the bowl for Presidents Cup selection as the season rolls into its final weeks.
The American was growing increasingly frustrated with his game and results as he went through a lengthy drought. But three weeks off between the PGA Championship and US Open earlier this May helped Reed regain lost touch and intensity.
Reed converted a 54-hole advantage for the fifth time in seven as he pressed hard to retain his overnight lead against a dense field of contenders. This was his seventh victory on the PGA TOUR.
“I didn’t want to see the golf clubs,” explained Reed. “I come back and I’m hitting the ball farther. I have a clear picture on what I’m trying to do and all of a sudden, I come out and I start hitting the ball where it’s supposed to go,” Reed said. “I’m starting to think clearly while I’m out there (on the course) and … the game starts turning around.”
Reed made his three-footer on the 18th to secure victory, with Ancer settling for second. The 29-year-old was behind Jon Rahm, who took the outright lead at the bend, but kept his nerve to clinch victory on a demanding Sunday. Reed finished the week with a two-under 69 on his card.
“Just to be back, and to feel like I’ve been playing some solid golf, and finally have it pay off, and to come out as a victory, it’s been a while, a little too long honestly,” he said. The victory took Reed into second place behind Brooks Koepka.
“But what better place to do it than here, Statue of Liberty in the background, Presidents Cup was here in ‘17, and hearing ‘Captain America’ all week, it was definitely a good time to get a W (win).”
Harold Varner III and Jon Rahm trailed Ancer by one, posting 68 and 69 respectively for a tie in third place. Adam Scott produced a final round 65 to move up to the fifth place at 13-under 271.
As the battle intensified, there were as many as seven golfers within one off the lead. Rahm was leading the charge when he made three birdies in four holes at the turn. Rahm failed to sustain the run though as he slumped into a disappointing back nine.
There was nothing fancy from Reed but he just kept chipping away. He made two birdies on his back nine without yielding a bogey, just enough to secure victory. 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.