Patrick Reed Wins Northern Trust
Patrick Reed won the 2019 Northern Trust Championship, shooting a final round 69 to finish at 16 under par 268 and beat Abraham Ancer, Harold Varner III and Jon Rahm by 2 shots. It’s his first tour victory in 16 months.
The win pushes him closer to a Presidents Cup at-large selection by captain Tiger Woods. Reed loves to play in those us-against-the-world settings. Witness his nickname “Captain America”. And he won a tournament that really matters. Remember he won this tournament, the first event in the FedEx playoffs in 2016, when it was the Barclays. He has a 2018 Masters and a WGC Championship among his 7 tour wins. He is now ranked 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings. And 12th in the Presidents Cup, just ahead of Tiger.
What stands out is how he won. By finishing strong. When Rahm took the lead 1 hole ahead at 16 under, Reed didn’t flinch. He stepped up and made birdies on 14 and 16. Rahm reverted to being over-emotional Rahm and made a mess of the final 4 holes with back to back bogies to drop out of the lead. Reed simply seized the moment, the lead, and the win
But even more significant is the process that led to his win.
Reed is a notoriously consumed with playing and practicing. But, after a disturbing stretch of 16 starts without a top 10 where he felt he lost clubhead speed and accuracy, he put the clubs away for 3 weeks. He said, “I might have gotten into a situation where I was working too hard.” So he took a family vacation. And came back refreshed. Hitting the ball farther. Thinking clearly. Hitting the ball where it’s supposed to go.
His approach up to Sunday, and the ensuing win, is another example of finding the right balance between playing, practicing and rest. Practicing smart. Taking the time to process the practice. Taking that practice to the course.
For Patrick Reed, 2019 Northern Trust Champion, sometimes less is more.