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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Reed earns Ryder Cup spot as McIlroy finishes on even par

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Paul Dunne finished joint 10th at the the Made in Denmark event.

American golfer Patrick Reed
American golfer Patrick Reed

PATRICK REED HELD his nerve to take out The Barclays by one stroke as he drew first blood in the lucrative FedEx Cup play-offs, while Rory McIlroy finished on even par at the event having started the day on two-under.

Reed carded a final-round of 70 to beat fellow American Rickie Fowler, earning his first win of the season and the fifth of his career on Sunday.

He finished the PGA Tour tournament at nine under overall despite bogeying his last two holes at Bethpage State Park’s famed Black Course in New York.

The victory saw Reed climb from seventh in the FedEx Cup points standings to first, leapfrogging world number one and defending champion Jason Day, who finished two shots adrift (69).

Reed also entered the week eighth in the Ryder Cup standings, teetering on the edge of the automatic qualifying spots. But he made sure he would not have to sit and wait to become a captain’s pick.

Fowler began the final round with a one-shot buffer over Reed. He remained tied for the lead through the first 10 holes, but the wheels came off down the stretch.

Needing to finish in the top three to automatically earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team, Fowler slipped into a tie for seventh at six under after a double bogey on the par-four 16th ended his chances and saw him card a 74.

Sean O’Hair shot a 66 to climb into a tie for second at eight under. He moved from 108th to 15th in the FedEx standings.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo fought off some inconsistent putting to finish level alongside O’Hair at eight under. The Argentine has now finished in the top 13 in three straight events.

Day, who also recorded the shot of the day when he drained a 71-foot bomb on the 15th, ended the event level with fellow Australian Adam Scott (71) and Gary Woodland (69) at seven under in a share of fourth.

A stroke further back at six under were Ryan Moore (69), Jason Kokrak (69) and Fowler, while reigning FedEx Cup champion Jordan Spieth (69) rounded out the top 10, accompanied by Justin Thomas (71).

The field will now be reduced from the top 125 points earners to 100 for the second FedEx Cup play-off event — the Deutsche Bank Championship.

In addition to Reed, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker earned the other two final automatic Ryder Cup spots for the US team.

Meanwhile, at the Made in Denmark event Belgium’s Thomas Pieters triumphed to boost his Ryder Cup hopes, while Ireland’s Paul Dunne finished joint 10th on nine under par, as Shane Lowry came 24th overall.

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