Patrick Reed had “Captain America” in full effect this weekend at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., complete with the Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower as a backdrop.
In winning his first tournament since the 2018 Masters on Sunday, Reed vaulted from No. 50 to No. 2 in the 2019 FedEx Cup Standings courtesy of the 2,000 points that came with his 16-under first-place finish. He beat Abraham Ancer by 1 shot.
Reed isn’t always a crowd-favorite on Tour. He managed to again win over the Big Apple faithful with steady play all weekend and a clean card down the stretch, including a bogey-free back nine, after a rocky start on Sunday. About a half-dozen players flirted with first place Sunday.
Reed has a history of succeeding in the spotlight of New York. He was part of the U.S. Presidents Cup team that smote Europe on this same course in the fall of 2017 and won the Northern Trust when it was played at Bethpage Black on Long Island in 2015.
Reed was 17th in the Presidents Cup standings before the Northern Trust. The top eight players are automatic qualifiers. Captain Tiger Woods – ranked 12th before the weekend – also has four picks, and could choose himself. However, Woods shot a painful 75 on Thursday and withdrew on Friday.
It’s very likely that Reed may have played his way back on to Team USA this weekend, while Woods played his way off it. Reed played with Woods at the Ryder Cup but caused a ruckus when he let it be known that he had wanted to play with Jordan Spieth. The feeling wasn’t necessarily mutual. But Reed and Woods share Nike lineage and the swoosh has been known to work magical powers.
Of much more immediate concern for the often-irascible Reed are the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which continue next week at the BMW Championship at Medinah outside Chicago, and the possibility of winning the FedEx Cup and the $15 million bonus it carries. Reed’s victory Sunday clinched him a spot in the Tour Championship at East Lake starting on Aug. 22.
Here is some of what Reed had to say after his Northern Trust victory on Sunday.
On winning for the first time since the 2018 Masters:
“It’s a amazing just to be back to feel like I’m playing some solid golf. To finally have it, you know, pay off. And for it to, you know, come out as a victory. It’s been a while. It’s been a little too long, honestly. But what better place to do it than here. We have the Statue of Liberty in the background, the Presidents Cup was here in ’17, and hearing ‘Captain America’ and ‘USA’ all week, it was definitely a good time to go ahead and get a ‘W.'”
On moving to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup Standings:
“It’s just the beginning. It’s the first playoff event. The good thing was that I felt like I was playing well all year, just haven’t gotten the finishes, so I was way down there in FedEx. So to come out and get the ‘W’ this week and to climb that board really quickly and get up to second . . . now it’s just go out, rest up tomorrow and start playing aggressive again and try to get up there as high as I can going into East Lake.”
On winning in New York and at Liberty National again:
“We’ve got the Statue of Liberty right there. And we’ve got awesome people. They’ve just been great. They’ve been amazing all week from the day I got here until the final putt went in, it was unbelievable to be back . . . The biggest thing is knowing that birdies are out here.”