Wednesday 18 September 2019

Reed ends drought as Lowry keeps FedEx hopes on track

Shane Lowry birdied four of his last six holes to close with a two-over 73. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Shane Lowry birdied four of his last six holes to close with a two-over 73. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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Patrick Reed clinched his first win since the 2018 Masters when he edged out Abraham Ancer to claim the Northern Trust in New Jersey.

The Texan (29) closed with a two-under 69 to win by a shot on 16-under par from Ancer, who shot 69, and by two strokes from Harold Varner III and Jon Rahm to leap from 50th to second in the FedExCup standings and demote Rory McIlroy to third. It was a frustrating final round for the Holywood star, who mixed seven birdies with five bogeys in a rollercoaster, two-under 69 to finish tied for sixth on 12-under par.

"Too many bogeys," McIlroy said after his 13th top-10 finish from 17 PGA Tour starts this year.

"I obviously made enough birdies but (I hit) too many loose shots. I haven't really had it this week or really been in control of my ball flight, especially with the irons and the wedges.

"It's still a decent finish and although I am going to go from two to three in the FedExCup, I am still right there."

Shane Lowry was forced to produce a brilliant back nine rally to keep his FedExCup hopes on track.

The Open champion (32) was in danger of falling outside the top 30 in the standings who will progress to the Tour Championship after this week's BMW Championship in Chicago.

But after lurching to the turn in five-over 41, then dropping another shot at the 10th to go six-over for the day, he birdied four of his last six holes to close with a two-over 73 and share 52nd on three-under.

It wasn't the final round Lowry had in mind, but his late birdie barrage meant he was forecast to fall just five places to 25th in the FedExCup charts.

He still has work to do, however, to lock up his spot in the top 30 who will battle it out for the $15 million FedExCup bonus at East Lake.

While Reed was battling for his first win in nearly 16 months, Bryson DeChambeau was defending his pace of play after coming under fire from fellow professionals over the weekend.

Footage emerged of the Californian taking two and three minutes to hit shots at Liberty National prompted a host of players to call on the PGA Tour to take action.

England's Eddie Pepperell called DeChambeau an "unaffected single-minded twit" who "doesn't care much for others."

DeChambeau, who closed with a 70 to finish tied 24th on seven-under-par, confronted Brooks Koepka before the round. According to reports, DeChambeau approached Koepka's caddie and told him to tell Koepka to talk about slow play "to my face", leading to a brief pre-round chat and a longer post-round conversation.

"It's not just him," said Koepka, who complained about JB Holmes' slow play in The Open. "I know he feels singled out, especially when I'm speaking about it. I've mentioned his name once, and that's it."

The post-round tete-a-tete was constructive, according to the man they call the 'Mad Scientist.'

"It was awesome," DeChambeau said. "It was actually fantastic. I appreciate what Brooks did. I have high respect for him because he did that"

While DeChambeau contended that he was being unfairly singled out, he admitted to taking too long at times and said he was in favour of penalty strokes being handed out.

Meanwhile, Mi Jung Hur fired a five-under-par 66 to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open by four strokes at The Renaissance Club.

The South Korean (29), came from one stroke behind overnight leader Moriya Jutanugarn to win her third LPGA Tour title and her first for five years on 20-under-par. The event also saw the first eight players confirmed for the European Solheim Cup team.

Carlota Ciganda, Anne Van Dam and Caroline Hedwall qualified via the LET Solheim Cup points' list while Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist made it via the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.

Captain Catriona Matthew will announce her four picks, live on Sky Sports at 2.0 today.

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