JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Patrick Reed picked a good time to end 16 months without a victory.
Reed fell behind early, was still two shots behind on the back nine at Liberty National and then rolled in three straight putts — one for par, two for birdies — that allowed him to overtake Jon Rahm and hold off Abraham Ancer to win The Northern Trust.
Reed closed with a 2-under 69 after a breezy afternoon in which a half-dozen players were in the mix on the back nine.
“It’s been a little too long,” said Reed, whose last victory was the 2018 Masters. “What better place to do it than here. It’s definitely a good time to get a ‘W.’”
Reed had such mediocre results by his standards that he began the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 50 and was only assured of two events. Points count four times as much in the playoffs, so the victory vaulted him to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup. His place at the Tour Championship is secure. His odds of the $15 million prize increased greatly. It still wasn’t enough for him to get in the top eight automatic qualifiers for the Presidents Cup, which will be decided after next week. He finished at 16-under 268 and won for the seventh time on the PGA Tour.
Ancer felt like a winner when it was over. He also played bogey-free over the final 12 holes, and his birdie on the 17th gave him hope. But his approach to the 18th came down below a ridge, and his long birdie putt to force a playoff went some 6 feet by the cup. He made that for a 69 to finish second, his best PGA Tour finish.
That was enough to send him from No. 67 to No. 8, with more perks that he could count. Ancer is a lock to make it to the Tour Championship in two weeks, meaning he earns his first spot in the Masters. He wrapped up a spot on the International team for the Presidents Cup, making him the first Mexican in the event.
Jon Rahm (69) and Harold Varner III (68) tied for third at 14 under.