ECU golf alum Harold Varner III shines at The Northern Trust

ECU golf alum Harold Varner III shines at The Northern Trust”

Reed shot a 2-under-par 69 in his final round at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. His 16-under-par was one stroke better than Ancer and two strokes better than Harold Varner III and Jon Rahm, who tied for third place.

Sunday was the first time since his last victory, at the Masters in April previous year, that he had entered the final round with the lead.

Patrick Reed, the overnight leader held off the challenge from Mexico's Abraham Ancer and to win the Northern Trust by a shot. "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'".

The players are battling for the eye-watering $15 million prize money, with the total prize money for the playoffs totalling $60 million.

The break led to a "clearer picture and mind" and Reed insisted after ending a drought spanning 41 tournaments that he hoped his next win would not take that long.

A member of the 2013 graduating class, Ancer shot 67, 65, 68 and 69 in each of the four rounds to take second place.

"I come back and I'm hitting the ball farther", the 29-year-old Reed told the PGA Tour website as he reflected on the benefits of his break.

"It's unbelievable", Reed said. He finished at 16-under 268 and won for the seventh time on the PGA Tour.

It still wasn't enough for him to get in the top eight in the Presidents Cup standings.

Ancer felt like a victor when it was over. 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 than he could count. "If I continue to go out there and play good golf, I know he's going to make the right decision on picking four guys that he feels are best for the team at the end of the day". Varner will still need a solid score next week to keep his place in the Tour Championship in two weeks, but that's a massive shot in the arm. The event also saw the first eight players confirmed for the European Solheim Cup team. "But then getting all this news that I'm going to the Tour Championship, playing all the majors, going to Masters, all that, I was like: 'Man, this is not too bad'". "I still obviously want that W, but really proud with all the boxes that I checked off today".

Reed was two back when he hit pitching wedge perfectly off a ridge on the back on the par-3 14th green to set up a birdie. And when he made bogey on the par-5 sixth hole, it looked as if he might have to wait longer for his next win. He missed the green short and right at 15, but muscled a pitch to 10 feet and drained the par putt.

With the FedEx Cup playoffs now being three events instead of four, only the top-70 make it to the second leg next week in Chicago, and then only the top-30 will make it to the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta the following week. One of the strongest bids belonged to Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who was in the middle of the pack and knew it would be close. 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. England's Ian Poulter and Justin Rose ended on 11 under but Danny Willett, who began the day three shots behind Reed, shot a four-over-par 74 to slip out of contention.

Spieth, who had to put together a good round just to get into the BMW Championship next week did just that.

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