ATLANTA – With his victory at The Barclays, the first event in the FedExCup Playoffs, Patrick Reed jumped from No. 7 in the FedExCup standings to No. 1 and is now in prime position to be in the coveted top 5 when the top 30 PGA TOUR players return to East Lake Golf Club for the ultimate season-long destination, the TOUR Championship, on Sept. 21-25.
With the win, Reed is guaranteed a chance to make his third consecutive start at the TOUR Championship in an attempt to better his best-ever FedExCup finish of 12th last year. Since joining the PGA TOUR in 2013, Reed has improved his FedExCup standing each season with finishes of 54th (2013), 21st (2014) and 12th (2015). Reed’s victory at The Barclays is his fifth career PGA TOUR win in his 121st start at the age of 26 years, 23 days. At No. 7 in the FedExCup standings beginning the week, Reed was the highest-ranked player in this week’s field without a win this season.
“Coming into the week, we said: Well, you know, let’s go ahead and do what you can do and get the job done,” Reed said. “If you go and win it takes care of everything else: Gets you into the Tournament of Champions, gets you into Ryder Cup, gets you to lead the FedExCup. It takes care of everything.”
Rickie Fowler was tied for the third-round lead heading into the final round, but after playing the first 55 holes with just one bogey, a back-nine 4-over-par 39 meant a T7 finish for Fowler. His 55 consecutive holes with recording a bogey, a personal-best for Fowler, is the longest streak at The Barclays since hole information began in 1983. The silver-lining for the U.S. Olympian is that the finish moved him from No. 28 to No. 16 in the FedExCup standings.
Sean O’Hair made the biggest move of the week with a final-round 66 and a T2 finish moving him from No. 108 in the standings to No. 15. O’Hair’s T2 showing marks his best since losing in a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the 2015 Valspar Championship. Prior to last season, O’Hair had struggled and not made it to the Playoffs since 2012. He finished 170th and 160th in FedExCup points in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
A four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, O’Hair was in search of his first win since the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
“Yeah, I think someone told me that I was pretty much guaranteed the BMW Championship, which is huge. Especially with the fact that I just wanted to just kind of survive this week, so very pleased,” O’Hair said. “It’s funny, I always feel like I play my best when my back is up against the wall for some reason. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what I do differently. I just seem to play a little bit better.”
PGA TOUR rookie Emiliano Grillo birdied his 72nd hole to close with a 2-under 69 and claim a share of second place with Sean O’Hair. With the finish, Argentina’s Grillo jumps from No. 34 to No. 6 in the FedExCup standings, making himself a lock for the TOUR Championship.
“I said if I have a chance going to Atlanta, that’s all I need. You never know. You see Bill Haas when he won, he was 20-something, and he won that week $12 million,” Grillo said. “It’s great being in the position of having a chance already.”
All seven rookies who qualified for the TOUR Championship won PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors:
2015 Daniel Berger 11th
2013 Jordan Spieth 7th
2012 John Huh 29th
2011 Keegan Bradley 20th
2009 Marc Leishman 20th
2008 Andres Romero 28th
2007 Brandt Snedeker 20th
“One week into the FedExCup Playoffs and we have already seen two of the game’s young stars go up against each other,” said Tom Clark, executive director of the TOUR Championship. “With names like Fowler, Reed, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson all looking like they will be in Atlanta for the TOUR Championship, combined with the changes we have made to the tournament by flipping the nines, this year’s event could be one of the best we’ve ever had.”
Tournament officials have announced a new program focused on youth development. The Verizon GSGA Junior Skills Challenge will bring 60 youth golfers (10 boys and girls finalists from three age groups) to the TOUR Championship on Sunday, September 25, where they will compete in a short game competition in both chipping and putting approximately three hours before the final round of the PGA TOUR season begins.
The Verizon GSGA Junior Skills Challenge will be held on the East Lake practice green located within the SO Cool Zone, a fan enhanced gathering area located on the back nine. Top three finishers from each division will be recognized during an awards presentation post event, from approximately 11:00-11:15 a.m.. The first tee time for the TOUR Championship is approximately 11:45 a.m.