Sunday’s roundup: Reed nabs Ryder spot, Fowler falters
Farmingdale, N.Y. — 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 from receiving an automatic bid to the U.S. 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.
Bernhard Langer made a 3-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Woody Austin and Kevin Sutherland on Sunday to win the PGA Tour Champions’ Boeing Classic for the second time.
Langer birdied the par-5 18th in regulation for a 5-under 67 to match Austin and Sutherland at 13-under 203 at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
Langer played the back nine in 6-under 30, also making birdies on Nos. 10-13 and 15.
Thomas Pieters improved his chances of earning a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup by winning the Made in Denmark tournament on Sunday to claim his third European title.
Pieters, who was fourth in the Olympics, finished with three birdies for a 65 and a 17-under total of 267 to beat Bradley Dredge by one stroke.
Ariya Jutanugarn ran away with the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Sunday at chilly Priddis Greens for her LPGA Tour-leading fifth victory of the year, including the Volvik Classic at Travis Pointe in Ann Arbor.
Nine days after withdrawing from the Rio Olympics because of a left knee injury, the 20-year-old Thai player made a 12-birdie putt on the final hole for a 6-under 66 and a four-stroke victory.
South Korea’s Sei Young Kim, a two-time winner this year, was second after a 65.
Former Michigan State golfer Ryan Brehm (2008) earned his PGA Tour card for the 2016-17 season by winning the WinCo Foods Portland Open.
Brehm birdied four of five holes starting at the sixth hole for a final-round 68 and a one-shot win over Mark Anderson.
The top 25 money-winners qualify to play on the PGA Tour next season. Brehm vaulted from 30th to fourth to earn his card.