Patrick Reed prevails over Abraham Ancer to win The Northern Trust

A steady Sunday effort from Patrick Reed (69) was enough to secure his first victory in 16 months with Abraham Ancer finding his best returns yet on the PGA TOUR

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Patrick Reed - The Northern Trust - PGA TOUR

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. Ancer’s previous best was T4 in the 2018 Quicken Loans National and T4 at the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Four golfers from outside the top 70 at the start of this week secured places in the BMW Championship. Harold Varner III jumped from 102nd to 29th with his T3 finish. First-round leader Troy Merritt finished in T12 to jump from 72nd to 59th place. Wyndham Clark’s T18 helped him move from 90th to 68th and Joaquin Niemann found the edge moving from 74th to 70th with a T30 in The Northern Trust.

Leading Scores:
Patrick Reed                       66-66-67-69—268 (-16)
Abraham Ancer                  67-65-68-69—269 (-15)
Harold Varner III                67-67-68-68—270 (-14)
Jon Rahm                           64-68-69-69—270 (-14)
Adam Scott                        68-69-69-65—271 (-13)
 
Patrick Reed Wins
PGA TOUR wins (7): 2013 Wyndham Championship, 2014 Desert Classic, 2014 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, 2015 Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2016 THE NORTHERN TRUST, 2018 Masters Tournament, 2019 THE NORTHERN TRUST
 
Notes from the PGA TOUR Release
  • 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. Ranked No. 1 in Approach Shot Proximity to the Hole (29’ 4”)
  • Jon Rahm (T3/-14) has now finished T3, T11, 7th and T3 in his last four starts on the PGA TOUR. This marked his third appearance in THE NORTHERN TRUST but first start at Liberty National. Missed cut at Ridgewood in 2018 and finished T3 at Glen Oaks in 2017
  • THE 2013 NORTHERN TRUST winner Adam Scott (5th/-13) notched his third top-five finish in his last three starts at this event (5th/2019, T5/2018, T4/206) while sharing the low round of the day with Kevin Tway (T24/-7), who led the FedExCup for the first two weeks of the season
  • Rory McIlroy (T6/-12) made seven birdies en route to final-round 69, his most birdies in any round this week
  • Jordan Spieth (T6/-12) required 21 putts in final-round 67 to tie his career low fewest putts in a round (most recent, 2019 Genesis Open/R1). Entered final round 193rd in Sunday scoring average (73.00). Sunday’s 67 follows final-round 68 at last week’s Wyndham Championship, his third closing round in the 60s this season (16 rounds) and the first time since 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson/67 and 2018 Charles Schwab Challenge/68 that he’s recorded sub-70 final-rounds in consecutive starts
  • Patrick Cantlay (T12/-10) led the field with 24 birdies for the week
  • Here’s a look at the top five players in the FedExCup standings entering the week: 1/Brooks Koepka (T30-remains No. 1), 2/Rory McIlroy (T6-now No. 3), 3/Matt Kuchar (MC-now No. 4), 4/Xander Schauffele (MC-now No. 7), 5/Gary Woodland(T52-now No. 9)
  • Dustin Johnson (T24/-7) began the final round with four bogeys in the first five holes after finishing with four bogeys in his last six holes Saturday for weekend scores of 74-73
  • Adam Schenk (T24/-7), who was a Chicago resident for several years and played Medinah multiple times, will miss making his first appearance in the BMW Championship after finishing No. 71 in the FedExCup, 2 points behind No. 70
  • When Joaquin Niemann (T30/-6) finished the final round before the leaders began, he was projected No. 71 in the FedExCup. With projections fluctuating throughout the day, Niemann ended No. 70 to advance to the BMW Championship for the first time
  • Brooks Koepka (T30/-6), 5-under through the first six holes of the final round, made bogey at No. 8 and triple-bogeyed No. 9 en route to a 1-under 70. Koepka maintained the lead in the FedExCup with a 206-point margin over Patrick Reed
  • PGA TOUR rookie and winner of the Sanderson Farms Championship this season Cameron Champ (T21/-8) posted a pair of sub-70 scores on the weekend (66-69) for the first time since 2018 The RSM Classic (66-69). T21 also marks his best finish since T11 at 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions. Champ was one of eight rookies in the FedExCup Playoffs, and one of five advancing to the BMW Championships (Sungjae Im/26, Collin Morikawa/57, Champ/58, Adam Long/65, Wyndham Clark/68)
  • Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau finished T24 with a final-round 70
  • Bud Cauley withdrew with illness before the start of the final round
  • Two events remain for players to move into the top eight in the Presidents Cup standings. After the top eight earn their spots on their respective teams following the BMW Championship on Sunday, August 18, International Team Captain Ernie Els and U.S. Team Captain Tiger Woods will have the opportunity to each make four additional Captains’ selections following the conclusion of the WGC-HSBC Champions in November