Patrick Reed shot up the standings in the 2019 FedEx Cup thanks to four great days of golf in New Jersey. Reed picked up 2,000 points with his victory at The Northern Trust, the first leg of the revamped FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The 2018 Masters Winner started the day as the leader and spent a good part of the final round trailing Jon Rahm by a stroke or two. But he kept his cool, regaining the top spot late and holding off Abraham Ancer at the very end to notch the big win.
Reed, 29, shot two under in the final round and finished 16 under for the tournament, which he has now won twice in the last four years.
Here's how Reed took back sole possession of the lead, per the PGA Tour:
In addition to moving up 48 spots in the FedEx Cup standings, Reed will take home $1.67 million for his efforts, per GolfDigest.com.
Rahm would have moved into first place in the FedEx Cup had he held on for the win at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey. Instead, he finished tied for third with Harold Varner III, which means Brooks Koepka remains in first place. Koepka finished tied for 30th at The Northern Trust, shooting six under for the tournament.
Here's a look at the top of the FedEx Cup leaderboard heading into the second leg of the playoffs.
1. Brooks Koepka, 2,980 points
2. Patrick Reed, 2,774 points
3. Rory McIlroy, 2,670 points
4. Matt Kuchar, 2,313 points
5. Jon Rahm, 2,097 points
6. Patrick Cantlay, 1,957 points
7. Xander Schauffele, 1,858 points
8. Abraham Ancer, 1,822 points
9. Gary Woodland, 1,820 points
10. Dustin Johnson, 1,819 points
The full standings can be found on the PGA Tour's official website.
Reed wasn't the only player to see his FedEx fortunes skyrocket thanks to the extra points awarded at The Northern Trust. Ancer finished in second at 15 under, moving up 59 spots to his comfortable eighth-place ranking.
However, nobody climbed the leaderboard quite like Varner III, who shot up 73 spots to 29th place.
It's incredible work from Varner III, who started the tournament in 102nd place and at risk of missing out on the rest of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, as The Northern Trust cut the FedEx Cup field from 125 golfers to 70.
The playoffs are decidedly more cutthroat this year, consisting of just three tournaments instead of four. The next stop is the BMW Championship in Medinah, Illinois, on Thursday, Aug. 15, followed by the Tour Championship on Aug. 22 in Atlanta.
The BMW Championship will tighten the FedEx Cup field considerably. Only 30 of the 70 remaining players will go on to the Tour Championship. That means the likes of Jordan Spieth (44th), Phil Mickelson (46th) and last year's Tour Championship winner, Tiger Woods (38th), have some ground to make up in Illinois if they want a shot at FedEx Cup glory.
Spieth showed at The Northern Trust that he's in the kind of form needed to make the final tournament, per PGA Tour:
In another format change, the BMW Championship is the last opportunity to pick up points. Whoever leads after that tournament will start the Tour Championship 10 strokes under, two ahead of the next-best golfer and 10 better than the golfers who just make the cut. Here's how it shakes out for everyone who makes it to the final tournament:
With this system in place, the Tour winner is also the FedEx Cup winner. Golf fans can just sit back and watch the action without having to constantly juggle someone's Championship standing with their FedEx Cup standings. The points are thrown out the window.
As Reed, Ancer and Varner III showed, things can change quickly in the FedEx Cup playoffs. There's ample opportunity for golfers to usurp those who hold the top 30 spots right now.
The BMW Championship is going to be a nervy contest as established names look to compete with up-and-comers taking advantage of the condensed FedEx Cup format.