The Northern Trust report: 50/1 tip Patrick Reed ends wait for PGA title with one-shot victory

Patrick Reed: The 29-year-old lifts the Northern Trust trophy at the Liberty National Golf Club
Patrick Reed: The 29-year-old lifts the Northern Trust trophy at the Liberty National Golf Club

Patrick Reed, tipped pre-tournament by Ben Coley at 50/1, ends his long wait for PGA Tour success with a one-shot victory at the Northern Trust.

Leaderboard

-16 Reed

-15 Ancer

-14 Varner, Rahm

-13 Scott

-12 Spieth, McIlroy, Oosthuizen, Snedeker


Day four report

Patrick Reed ended a 16-month winless run on the PGA Tour by claiming a one-shot victory at the Northern Trust in New Jersey.

The 29-year-old, tipped by Sporting Life's golf expert Ben Coley at 50/1, holed a three-foot putt to save par at the last and close out a two-under 69 at Liberty National, taking him to 16 under and stay ahead of playing partner Abraham Ancer.

Victory is his second in three years at the opening FedExCup Play-Off and lifts him up to second in the standings, with one-time leader Jon Rahm ending the week tied-third alongside Harold Varner III.

Adam Scott claimed fifth spot ahead of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, while English duo Ian Poulter Justin Rose and Ian Poulter finished five strokes off the pace in a share of 10th place.

Beginning two strokes off the pace, Rahm followed back-to-back birdies from the fifth with a tap-in gain at the eighth to reach the turn one ahead, as Reed posted a front-nine 36 after mixing three birdies with as many bogeys.

Rahm failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker to save par at the 11th, only to hole a 12-foot birdie at the next and make a two-putt birdie at the par-five 13th to briefly move two ahead.

Back-to-back bogeys from the 13th by Rahm saw Reed regain top spot by rolling in from 10 feet at the 14th, before the former Masters champion holed from a similar distance to scramble a par at the next and then fired his approach into the par-four 16th to close-range.

Ancer closed the gap to one by posting successive gains from the 16th but was unable to find a final-hole birdie, allowing Reed to complete victory with a two-putt par from the back of the green.

Day three report

Patrick Reed at Liberty National
Patrick Reed at Liberty National

Patrick Reed will take a narrow lead into the final round of the BMW Championship as he seeks a first PGA Tour victory since the 2018 Masters.

On a day of breezy, firm conditions at Liberty National, the American added a four-under 67 to a brace of 66s to move to 14-under, one ahead of Mexico's Abraham Ancer.

Brandt Snedeker took advantage of an early tee-time to post a best-of-the-day 63 and climb to 12-under alongside Jon Rahm, with Danny Willett among a group on 11-under and three adrift of the leader.

Rory McIlroy birdied holes 16 and 17 before a good save on the last saw him post 10-under and he's yet another player in the mix for the first FedEx Cup Playoff event.

Reed was the only player in the field who played the first two rounds without a bogey, and it's a run he extended through into the back-nine before a solitary blemish arrived at the 15th.

Still, birdies at the third, sixth, eighth and 10th had seen him move to the top of the leaderboard, and he was able to recover with an excellent birdie at the 17th before saving par after a wayward drive at the last.

"It feels great, I've been hitting the ball well for a month and a half now," Reed told Sky Sports. "To finally be in contention heading into Sunday is all that I can ask for.

"I have a game plan, just got to stick to (it). Hopefully towards the end of the round we have a chance to win the golf tournament."

Reed's nearest challenger is Ancer, winner of last year's Australian Open but yet to make his breakthrough at this level, and the eye is drawn instead to those outside of the final group.

Playing alongside Reed, Rahm also got away with a wild drive at the last while Snedeker's round was built on eagles at both the sixth and eighth holes.

Willett dropped a shot at the last in an otherwise excellent round which could move him inside the top 70 in FedEx Cup points, which is where he needs to be in order to qualify for next week's BMW Championship.

He's alongside Harold Varner and Justin Rose, the latter considering himself lucky to birdie the penultimate hole in a battling 69 which kept him within touching distance of the leader.

Reed will look to repeat his victory in the 2016 edition of the same event and is in a similar situation, bidding to end a lengthy barren spell and also qualify for next month's Presidents Cup.

One bogey in 54 holes puts him in pole position but under clear skies and with little wind forecast on Sunday, he's likely to be attacked on all sides by a raft of world-class players in what's shaping up to be an engrossing finish.

Day two report

The world number two produced an excellent display of iron play as he moved to 12-under 130, with a birdie at the last taking him one ahead of Jordan Spieth.

Johnson, who was one off the lead overnight after opening with a 63, made his only bogey of the day at the first but bounced back with birdies at the third and fourth.

He missed out on several other birdie opportunities with a number of putts going close, but still finished strongly as he eased to the top of the leaderboard with gains at the 13th, 15th and 18th.

Johnson is chasing his third win in the event, after victories in 2011 and 2017 at different venues, and his fifth success in the FedExCup Play-Offs.

"I feel like I'm swinging it really well," he said. "I've got a lot of control with the golf ball and hitting a lot of really nice shots and rolled in a couple of putts today which is nice, but still feel like I left quite a few out there.

"I'm in a good position heading into the weekend, and if I can keep swinging the way I am, I think it's going to be a good weekend."

Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion, had set the early clubhouse target with a seven-under 64, which included eight birdies and one bogey, his only one of the tournament so far.

The highlight of Spieth's round came at the par-four ninth, his final hole, which he birdied after playing his second shot around trees from the right rough and then holing a lengthy putt.

Troy Merritt failed to match his first-round 62 as he posted a one-under 70, which included a double-bogey at the 15th shortly before play was suspended for around 30 minutes due to a nearby storm.

At ten-under, he shares third place with Patrick Reed, who fired a second consecutive bogey-free 66, Spain's Jon Rahm (68) and Abraham Ancer of Mexico (65).

Justin Rose, the reigning FedExCup champion, is handily placed on nine under following a 68, with his fellow Englishman Ian Poulter only one shot further back thanks to a 66.

Rory McIlroy is also on nine under after a three-under 68 which was only confirmed after he had completed his round.

The Northern Irishman was initially marked down with a double-bogey at the 14th after appearing to be given a two-shot penalty for touching sand in a greenside bunker, but it was later confirmed that he had not been penalised as he did not improve his lie.

Open champion Shane Lowry made some stealthy progress up the leaderboard as he followed his opening 69 with a 67 to sit on six under.

World number one Brooks Koepka once again failed to fire as he added a 69 to his opening 70 which left him nine off the pace on three under.

With the cut coming at one under, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele were among those to miss out by one shot, while the likes of Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia will also have the weekend off.

Tiger Woods withdrew before the start of his second round due to a "mild oblique strain".

Day one report

Tiger Woods shot an error-strewn 75 as Rory McIlroy made a positive start at the first FedEx Cup play-off event.

Woods, playing his first round since missing the cut at the Open last month, ended the first day of the Northern Trust at Liberty National four over par and 13 strokes behind leader Troy Merritt.

McIlroy recovered from a bogey on the 10th, his first hole, to record an eagle and five birdies in a six-under-par 65 that put him in a tie for fifth three shots off the lead.

Americans Tony Finau and Webb Simpson were alongside him while Dustin Johnson was second on eight under with Kevin Kisner and Jon Rahm one back on seven under.

Merritt recorded nine birdies in his flawless 62.

Masters champion Woods, who carded three birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey, did not use the stiff back which forced him to play a limited role in the pre-tournament pro-am as an excuse.

Woods, who could fall outside the world's top 30 if he misses the cut, said: "I knew I had to go get it, post a low one, and didn't do it.

"I'm going to have to figure out a way to get this thing under par and hopefully move on to have a chance on the weekend to keep progressing and keep going lower. I've got to get into the red at the end of the day tomorrow for sure."

McIlroy was pleased with his day's work.

"I played well," the Northern Irishman said. "It was a little bit of a scrappy finish, I had to get up and down twice (for par on the eighth and ninth), but I played better.

"I hit some better iron shots today than I saw all week in Memphis, hit some nice little left-to-right shots that I didn't have a couple of weeks ago and I drove it well, so if I continue to drive it well around here hopefully I'll give myself plenty of chances to make birdies."

McIlroy began the week second in the FedEx Cup standings and played the opening round alongside leader Brooks Koepka and third-placed Matt Kuchar.

The 30-year-old won the overall FedEx Cup title and USD 10million bonus in 2016 and would love to repeat the feat this season, especially with the first prize increased to a staggering USD 15million.

"I really like the play-offs," McIlroy added. "Brooks and Kuch and I were playing together today and that could be the same thing next week depending where we end up in the standings after this week.

"I like that you have that intensity from the start. It was cool to play with those guys and I have another day with them tomorrow, sort of keep an eye on what they're doing and try to play another good round of golf."

The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup after this week advance to the BMW Championship and the top 30 after Medinah qualify for the Tour Championship.

Woods is projected to fall from 28th to 35th in the standings after his first round.

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