Thursday's roundup: Reed rings true with 66 at Barclays

Associated Press

Farmingdale, N.Y. — 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 early 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, running off three birdies and an eagle on the front nine to close out his 66. Reed is winless this year and holding down the No. 8 position in the Ryder Cup standings. This is the final week for Americans to earn the eight automatic spots on the team.

“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 were one shot ahead of Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and a pair of Ryder Cup hopefuls, Rickie Fowler and Kevin Chappell.

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.”

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 and Bubba Watson were among those playing in the afternoon.

LPGA

At Priddis, Alberta, three-time champion Lydia Ko was back on the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open leaderboard. Canadian star Brooke Henderson had a lot of catching up to do in the lightning-delayed first round.

The top-ranked Ko shot a 5-under 67 at Priddis Greens in the round delayed for nearly three hours, leaving her a stroke behind leader Stephanie Meadow. The 18-year-old Henderson was even par through five holes with less than two hours of daylight left.

Ko has won the event three of the last four years, the first two as an amateur. The 19-year-old New Zealander has four LPGA Tour victories this season, winning the ANA Inspiration for her second major title.

Meadow, the 24-year-old former Alabama player from Northern Ireland, birdied the final two holes, closing with a 20-footer on the par-4 ninth. South Korea’s Mirim Lee and Mi Jung Hur matched Ko at 67.

Europe

Tom Lewis flirted with the first 59 in European Tour history until three late bogeys made him settle for a 9-under 62 and a three-way tie at the Made In Denmark tournament.

Lewis rammed in a 45-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fourth hole to reach 12 under par through 13 holes at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort in Farso.

But he made bogey on the next hole, and closed with two more bogeys to share the lead with Thomas Pieters and Joakim Lagergren.