By John Dundon
Texan Patrick Reed secured his fifth PGA Tour win Sunday, overtaking weekend leader Rickie Fowler to win The Barclays tournament at Bethpage Black golf course.
The front nine was a classic back and forth between two great golfers giving every shot their all. For Reed, a player who’s come so close to getting a win in so many tournaments this summer, the win felt good.
“It feels amazing; I haven’t had that feeling in a while coming down the last couple with the lead,” Reed said after his championship round. “I felt like I did a lot of things well, it’s just great to finally be able to close one off.”
Reed’s jubilation makes the disappointment Fowler was feeling, after squandering a one stroke lead, seem all the more real. He finished the day three strokes over par and ended the tournament tied for fourth.
The start of the round wasn’t particularly bad for Fowler. It all unraveled on the back nine, starting with a bogey on the par 4 11th hole. Fowler then bogeyed on 15, and followed that up with a double-bogey on 16. At that point, it was game, set, match.
“I don’t know, I just made some bad swings at the wrong time,” a dejected Fowler told reporters after the round.
“Disappointing back nine. I didn’t drive it the way I needed to. It was just a little off here and there; you had to be playing out of the fairway. So yeah, just a little disappointing,” Fowler said.
It’s obviously a disheartening result for Fowler, as a win would’ve locked up a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team this coming September. Now, he’ll have to rely on being a captains pick—of which he remains in good standing for.
The world’s No.1 golfer Jason Day, despite his best efforts, couldn’t quite put together a late charge to get back in the thick of things on Sunday.
“This week, I Don’t think there was a tee shot where I felt comfortable over the ball to be honest,” Day said after his round. “Every time I was standing over the ball, I couldn’t feel like it was going to be a good shot.”
His struggles at Bethpage aside, Day remained positive and said he relishes the chance to come back to Bethpage Black again for the PGA Championship in 2019.
“I love playing in front of New York crowds,” Day added. “It’s really cool to see how much they embrace golf here. They enjoy themselves here, very rowdy.”
While Day enjoyed the boisterous crowds, the tournament champion Reed called them “obnoxious” earlier this weekend. He would go on to change his tone after his win was wrapped up, though.
“The crowds are crazy, but they’re awesome. You don’t go to golf tournaments very often and hear chants,” Reed said. “You can feed off of that energy that’s going on, then when people are starting to heckle you, you can try and prove them wrong.”
It seems Bethpage Black has left an impression on the world’s best, a good sign for the future of the PGA on Long Island.