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Reed captures playoff opener

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y.—Patrick Reed had a crystal trophy, a clear shot at the richest payoff in golf, and a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

All he could offer Rickie Fowler was best wishes to join him at Hazeltine.

Reed picked up two victories yesterday at The Barclays. First he rallied from an early two-shot deficit to win the FedEx Cup playoff-opener and assure himself a clear shot at the $10-million bonus.

He also secured a spot on the U.S. team at Hazeltine that will try to win back the Ryder Cup.

“Everyone’s been talking about the Ryder Cup, been talking about, ‘Oh, you’re in the eighth spot and you’re on the bubble’ and all that,” Reed said after his one-shot victory.

“If you go and win, it takes care of everything else. . . . It takes care of everything.”

The way Fowler finished yesterday only leads to two weeks of uncertainty.

He needed only to finish alone in third place, which was the farthest from his mind as he battled Reed at Bethpage Black.

“I wasn’t trying to get a decent finish,” Fowler said. “I was trying to win.”

Two shots behind with four holes to play, and two shots clear of third place, Fowler missed a four-foot par putt on the 15th hole, then made double-bogey on the next one.

His late meltdown sent him to a 74, a tie for seventh, and kept him off the Ryder Cup team.

Reed built a big enough lead that a few sloppy mistakes over the final hour didn’t matter.

He bogeyed the final hole for a one-under 70 and a one-shot victory over Sean O’Hair and Emiliano Grillo.

Fowler still could have made the Ryder Cup team with a birdie on the 18th hole, but he missed another fairway and took bogey.

It was the fourth time Fowler has failed to convert a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, though he remained optimistic.

“He [Fowler] just told me, ‘Hey, I’m going to go get my work done. I’ll see you in Minnesota,’” Reed recalled.

Yesterday was the final day to earn the eight automatic spots on the U.S. team.

Fowler’s late collapse allowed Zach Johnson to claim the eighth and final spot.

Davis Love III still has four captain’s picks over the next three weeks.

Meanwhile, Reed, who finished at nine-under 275, wasn’t the only player who felt like a big winner yesterday.

O’Hair was among five players who moved into the top 100 in the FedEx Cup, advancing to the next playoff event at the TPC Boston that starts Friday.

And he made a big move—closing with a 66 to tie for second.

That moved him all the way up to No. 15, assuring two more playoff events and giving O’Hair a good shot at staying in the top 30 who qualify for the finale at the Tour Championship.

Grillo birdied the final hole for a 69 and moved to No. 6.

Defending champion Jason Day struggled all week with his accuracy and had to settle for a 69 yesterday, tying for fourth with Gary Woodland (69) and Adam Scott (71).

David Hearn of Brantford, Ont. was the top Canadian, finishing at three-over after a final round 73.

Adam Hadwin (77) of Abbotsford, B.C. was five-over while Graham DeLaet (73) of Weyburn, Sask. was 10-over.

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