NEW YORK (AFP) - Patrick Reed fired a two-under 69 on Sunday (Aug 11) to win the US PGA Tour's Northern Trust tournament, his first victory since his 2018 Masters triumph.
His overnight lead at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey, evaporated with back-to-back bogeys at the second and third holes.
But two back-nine birdies, at the 14th and 16th, were enough to lift the American to a seventh career title on 16-under 268 - one stroke in front of Mexico's Abraham Ancer.
"It's amazing," Reed said. "Just to be back here and be playing some solid golf and finally have it paying off.
"It's been awhile. It's been a little too long, honestly."
Reed was part of the US Presidents Cup team that triumphed at Liberty National in 2017.
Fans at the course in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty welcomed him back with enthusiasm.
"Hearing 'Captain America' and 'USA' all week - it was a great time to get a W," Reed said.
Spain's Jon Rahm surged to the top of the leaderboard with three birdies in four holes on the front nine. Birdies at the 12th and 13th moved him to 16-under, but he faded with bogeys at the 14th and 15th.
Reed, even for the day after three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine, rolled in an eight-footer at the 14th before draining a 10-footer to save par at the 15th, where he missed the green and pitched on.
He stuck his short approach shot four feet from the pin at the 16th and rolled that in to give himself a two-stroke cushion.
The victory in the first of three events in the US tour's FedEx Cup playoffs moved Reed to second in the play-off standings going into the BMW Championship.
That means Reed, who was struggling enough less than three months ago that he took several weeks off to work on his game, is in prime position to challenge for the US$15 million (S$20.8 million) playoff purse that will be on offer at the season-ending Tour Championship.
Ancer closed with a two-under 69 for 269. Rahm carded a 69 to share third on 270 with American Harold Varner, who signed for a 68.
Ancer's performance - his best finish on the PGA Tour - bumped him from 67th in the playoff standings to eighth. He is certain to make the Tour Championship.
"When I finished, I was a little down because I didn't get it done and I feel like I played good," Ancer said. "But then getting all this news that I'm going to the Tour Championship, playing all the majors, going to Masters, all that, I was like, 'Man, this is not too bad.'"
Australian Adam Scott finished alone in fifth on 271, climbing up the leaderboard with a six-under 65.