AKRON, Ohio – With time running out to qualify for the Ryder Cup, Patrick Reed picked a great time to reappear on a PGA Tour leaderboard.
Reed closed out the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a bogey-free, 5-under 65, an effort that earned him his first top-10 finish on Tour since winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in March.
The highlight of his round came at No. 17, when an errant drive left Reed in a fairway bunker. From there, he struck a 57-degree sand wedge that found the hole from 104 yards for an unexpected eagle.
“I couldn’t even see the flag,” Reed said. “I walked up and I thought I got a good line. I hit my line and the next thing you know, I run up the hill and watch it disappear. It was just one of those shots that, luckily, it went in.”
Reed broke par in three of his four rounds at Firestone, and finished the week tied for fourth. After Dustin Johnson announced his leave of absence Wednesday, Reed moved into the ninth – and final – automatic qualifying spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list.
A top-five finish this week will improve that standing, but heading into the final qualifying event at the PGA Championship, Reed insists that his focus will be on winning his first major – not punching his ticket to Gleneagles.
“I’m not really paying too much attention to where I stand on that,” he said. “The most important thing next week is the tournament. If I take care of next week and play some good golf, that will take care of everything else.”