FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Childhood friends since their junior-golf days, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler shook hands after The Barclays tournament’s final putt fell Sunday evening and each headed his distinctly different way.
Reed went one way to lift the large crystal champion’s trophy after a one-shot victory over Sean O’Hair and Emiliano Grillo and to celebrate a guaranteed place on the U.S. Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska next month.
Fowler went another way to study how he’s now 0-for-4 after he holds a third-round lead in a PGA Tour event. The leader by a shot over Reed when Sunday began at demanding Bethpage Black, Fowler finished out bogey, double bogey, birdie and bogey Sunday after he played 45 holes without a single bogey during a stretch in the tournament’s first three days.
From second place with three holes left to a three-way tie for seventh, Fowler watched a Ryder Cup qualifying spot slip right through his hands and into those of two-time major winner Zach Johnson, who already had flown home to Georgia resigned to falling into the captain’s pick discussion by the time Fowler came staggering up the 18th fairway.
Reed’s victory moved him from eighth to fourth in the final points standings. He, Brandt Snedeker and Johnson secured the final three spots after Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka had already clinched theirs.
Having just seen both a $1.5 million FedEx Cup playoffs payday and that Ryder Cup guarantee disappear, Fowler said something to Reed before he went into the good night.
“He just told me, ‘Hey, I’m going to get my work done,’ and he was like, ‘I’ll see you in Minnesota,’ ” Reed said. “I said, ‘I know you will be.’ ”
Reed called Sunday’s victory — his fifth on the PGA Tour and first since January 2015’s Tournament of Champions in Hawaii — the byproduct of simply taking care of business by focusing on winning the tournament.
“If you go and win, it takes care of everything,” Reed said. “It gets you into the Tournament of Champions, gets you into the Ryder Cup, gets you to lead the FedEx. It takes care of everything.”
It sends him back to his second Ryder Cup after he so famously — or infamously — put his index finger to his lips and shushed a vocal European crowd at the 2014 event in Gleneagles, Scotland.
“I want sweet revenge like our whole team does,” Reed said. “There’s nothing like playing for your country and representing the United States. Being able to do it for the first time overseas was amazing and then to be able to do it at the Presidents Cup in South Korea, that was awesome as well. Then being able to go down to Rio and play in the Olympics, that was a blast.
“So now I finally get to play for the United States in the United States and I cannot wait to see how the fans and have the whole crowd on our side. It’s going to be so much fun. I know we’re going to work so hard to keep that Cup back home.”
Two of the world’s top 10-ranked players — No. 6 Bubba Watson and No. 8 Fowler — did not make the U.S. team’s first eight. Captain Davis Love III will choose four wild-card selections in September. European captain Darren Clarke is expected to complete his entire 12-man team by Tuesday.
“You know, it’s one of those things where if you don’t play good enough, you can’t get mad at it,” Watson said after a Sunday 66 and a 13th-place finish. “I can’t get mad at anything. I tried to make the team just like everybody else and I didn’t make it.”
Done early with his day after a 48th-place finish, Johnson was headed for the airport when Reed and Fowler teed off.
“It’s out of my control,” Johnson said. “At this point, I’ve had my opportunities. … I don’t think there’s any scenario. Well, there is a scenario, but realistically I probably have to get picked. That’s not ideal, but at least I’m in the discussion.”
There was such a scenario and Fowler is the one now left in the remaining discussion for four remaining captain’s picks.
When asked if he knew the Ryder Cup implications as he finished his back nine, Fowler said: “Somewhat, but my main focus was winning. I wasn’t too worried about that. I was just focused on winning the golf tournament. If I had not finished the way I did, things would have been fine. Just made some not-so-good swings at a bad time. I was trying to win the whole thing. It’s not for me to worry about now.”