Northern Trust 2019: Patrick Reed Holds 1-Stroke Lead After Round 3

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2019

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 10: Jon Rahm of Spain and Patrick Reed of the United States react after finishing on the 18th green during the third round of The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club on August 10, 2019 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first tournament of the 2019 FedEx Cup season could go down to the final hole.

Patrick Reed currently holds a one-stroke lead at 14 under overall after shooting a four-under 67 at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey on Saturday, but there are a ton of golfers in his rearview mirror. Nine golfers currently sit at 10 under or better overall, including Rory McIlroy (-10) and Jon Rahm (-12). Abraham Ancer is within one stroke of Reed alone in second place.

Dustin Johnson entered the afternoon with the lead but struggled mightily to shoot three over. The former world No. 1 hit only 28.6 percent of his fairways off the tee and 44.4 of his greens in regulation. He could not find the speed once he got on the short grass. It was a bit of a miracle he managed to get through the round without his score being higher.

Brandt Snedeker was the biggest mover of the day, moving up 31 spots after shooting an eight-under 63 to get to 12 under overall. He hit a pair of eagles on the front nine at Nos. 6 and 8 while also peppering in five birdies with only one bogey.

"I think with the new format, obviously being as close as you can to the leader going in is going to be a huge deal more so than years past," Snedeker told reporters after his round. " I think everybody is trying to make as many points as they can and get as high as they possibly can."

Reed has been consistent all week, shooting 66-66-67 to take the lead into Sunday. His approach game betrayed him a little bit in Saturday's round, as he hit only 10 of 18 greens in regulation but made up for it with some clutch putting. He had five birdies against a lone bogey, finally dropping a stroke after playing the first 50 holes of the tournament bogey-free.

The 2018 Masters champion has not won since capturing that major and said his struggles in May's PGA Championship caused him to "reset" his game.

"I just kind of sat down and I took a reset," Reed told reporters Friday. "Kind of took three weeks off and shut the clubs down for a little bit. Came back and just kind of reflected and looked at: 'OK what's going on? Where am I?' And, you know, we were a lot closer than we anticipated."

Ancer, meanwhile, is 28 and looking for his first win on the PGA Tour. His lone professional victories came on the Web.com Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia. Having him on a leaderboard next to names like Reed, McIlroy, Rahm and Johnson will no doubt be the biggest moment of his career to date.

All three of the latter big names will need to play better than their third round to have a chance at taking down Reed, who seems to have his handle of the Northern Trust course. McIlroy had more bogeys in his first five holes Saturday than Reed has in the entire tournament.

     

Stats via PGATour.com.

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