The hottest player on the European Tour might be an American.
Patrick Reed carded nine birdies Friday en route to a 7-under 65 at the DP World Tour Championship. The score was one shot off the day's best and left Reed alone in third place, three shots behind Andy Sullivan heading into the weekend of the season's final event.
This continues a run of strong play for Reed, one that dates back to last month's Hong Kong Open where he finished T-3. He followed that with a T-10 finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and a T-7 finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and then lost in a playoff to Kristoffer Broberg last week at the BMW Masters.
While several players have spoken in recent weeks about the difficulty of maintaining membership on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, Reed has seemed quite comfortable while earning his Euro Tour card for the first time. Although this week marks his 12th tournament start of the year, one short of membership requirements, the European Tour has allowed players to count last month's Presidents Cup as a start, meaning that Reed will have full playing privileges on both sides of the Atlantic next year.
Reed's late-season run is somewhat surprising given his PGA Tour results this year. After a hot start that included a playoff win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Reed cooled over the summer and endured a streak of 15 starts from March to September without recording a top-10 finish.
But that stretch is clearly behind him, as Reed has now turned a corner and will challenge this weekend for what would be his fifth worldwide win since August 2013.