Northern Trust Recap: Reed Captures Playoff Opener
Northern Trust Recap: Reed Captures Playoff Opener

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

Even when Patrick Reed was playing badly – and that was the feeling coming from him and his team, mind you – he wasn't playing that badly. He wasn't missing cuts, he wasn't tumbling down the world rankings. He just wasn't the same guy who won the Masters and five other PGA Tour events.

So it was quite a bold move to look in the mirror when many golfers wouldn't, admitting he needed help and bringing in famed coach David Leadbetter. The results weren't instant, but Reed's play steadily improved, to the point that his victory on Sunday at the Northern Trust was far from a surprise.

In capturing the playoff opener at Liberty National, Reed won for the first time since Augusta some 16 months ago. He vaulted from 50th in the point standings to second, behind only Brooks Koepka, and to 15th in the world rankings – exactly where he began the year.

Reed fell as far as 25th – dropping 10 spots when you're that high is still a bit of a tumble – but it wasn't extreme. He has played 23 tournaments on the PGA Tour this season and missed only three cuts, and in his 20 cashes he's finished top-25 13 times. Most golfers would kill for that.

Leadbetter came on board in March, and you really started to see the changes at the end of June with a tie for fifth at Detroit. Then came a tie for 10th at the Open Championship,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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