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Northern Trust leaderboard

Resolute Reed reigns but slow play steals headlines

Patrick Reed ground out a one-shot victory at the Northern Trust for his seventh PGA Tour title. Joe Hughes wraps up the action
 

Northern Trust report: What happened at Liberty National?

Patrick Reed put in a steely performance on Sunday to take advantage of his 54-hole lead and claim the Northern Trust title with a winning score of 16-under-par.

The 2018 Masters Champion has struggled to string four top quality rounds together in recent months but has shown signs of returning to form and this week it all came together.

His closing round wasn’t all straightforward after he bogeyed three of the first six holes, but did make the turn at level par.

Meanwhile, Jon Rahm carded no bogeys and three birdies on the front-nine to take the outright lead, but his good work was undone with three bogeys coming in.

Reed’s back nine however was a lesson in how to win a golf tournament. He didn’t drop a shot, made two birdies and played sensible shots throughout to capture his first victory since April last year.

Abraham Ancer, battled hard in pursuit of Reed, but with just an outside chance of a birdie at the last to force a play-off, it was not to be.

The American’s performance this week has bumped him up into second place in the FedEx Cup standings thanks to the inflated amount of points on offer in the Play-offs.

This sees him leapfrog many players and place himself just behind Brooks Koepka, who finished tied-30th this week and ahead of Rory McIlroy.

Speaking of the Northern Irishman, McIlroy was in with a chance of victory this week, but struggled to make his birdies count on the final day.

He made seven birdies on Sunday, only to cancel five of those out with bogeys, leading to a closing 69 and a tie for 6th place.

Matt Wolff slipped outside of the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings which signals the end of his first season on tour but fellow rookie Joaquin Niemann did enough to continue his Play-off journey thanks to a tied-30th finish.

Northern Trust report: What the winner said

Northern Trust report: Talking points

To say that the first week of the FedEx Cup Play-offs was action-packed would be an understatement and it was the biggest names in the business making the headlines.

Rory McIlroy was the subject of an intriguing incident which saw him receive a two-shot penalty during Friday’s second round.

The Northern Irishman called in a rules official to inform him that he had tried to move what he thought was a loose impediment in the bunker, but instead turned out to be sand.

He was given an instant penalty but this was rescinded post-round after McIlroy further explained his case.

In the end common sense prevailed. Here’s our rules expert Steve Carroll to fill you in on the incident and why the decision was overturned.

**

Next up Bryson DeChambeau has been the subject of some considerable criticism this week for what you and I might describe as “far too long”, including an incident where he took two and a half minutes to hit an eight-foot putt.

Several players have addressed the issue, following on from McIlroy and Brooks Koepka speaking out and the start of the week.

But the Golf Twitter mob have been out in force over the weekend and DeChambeau has hit back. Hard.

Alex Perry took a deeper dive on the incident and why actually we shouldn’t be looking to blame DeChambeau

**

Finally, we have to talk about Tiger Woods.

Since his Masters win in April a sighting of the Cat has been rare. He has struggled his way through the other three majors, missing the cut in two, and taken breaks regularly. But he did decide to tee it up in the play-offs.

Tiger lasted just one full round, through which he was generally all over the place, before having to withdraw from the event on Friday citing “a mild oblique strain”. (We had to look it up too.)

This really leads us to wonder where we will see Tiger play again and though he appears optimistic, who really knows? Roll on Augusta.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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