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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) – Patrick Reed’s place in the Ryder Cup is looking better with each round at The Barclays, and so are his prospects of winning.
Even with a careless finish Friday at Bethpage Black, Reed rode a fast start to a 3-under 68 and a two-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo and Rickie Fowler going into the weekend of the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
The Barclays is the final tournament for Americans to earn one of the eight automatic spots on the Ryder Cup team.
Reed, who has gone 55 tournaments worldwide since his last victory, came into the week at No. 8.
At the moment, that’s no longer a concern.
“Really, I’m going into this week trying to win a golf tournament,’’ Reed said. “If I take care of me and do what I need to do this week, then Ryder Cup will take care of itself. So I’m not going into this week looking at it as, `Oh, I need to do this for the Ryder Cup.’ I’m going in this to think, `All right, I need to go win a golf tournament.’’’
Reed was at 8-under 134.
Fowler mostly likely needs third place alone to have any chance of qualifying for the Ryder Cup, and he has done his part. He played bogey-free in the sweltering heat, though still missing plenty of birdie chances. Par is never bad on the Black Course, however, and Fowler shot a 69.
He has dropped only one shot all week, missing a 4-foot par putt Thursday that spun out of the back of the cup.