JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Patrick Reed handled the strong gusts and a Liberty National course starting to dry out with a 4-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead over Abraham Ancer going into the final round of The Northern Trust.
Reed has not won since the 2018 Masters, though it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. He has played 41 times worldwide since his major victory.
“It’s close and it feels good,” Reed said. “Feels like this has been coming for some time, and now it’s just go out and stick to the game plan tomorrow and hopefully Sunday we have a chance to win the golf tournament.”
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, playing in the final group, faltered.
Johnson, twice a winner of this FedEx Cup playoffs opener, didn’t make a birdie until the 10th hole, and then saw his round fall apart with four bogeys over the last six holes for a 74 that dropped him five shots behind.
Spieth began his round by hitting his tee shot into the water, lost ground and momentum with a sloppy double bogey — his first of the week — from the fairway on No. 7 and recorded only two birdies in his round of 74.
Reed was at 14-under 199 and will be paired in the final group with Ancer, who had a 68 as he tries to deliver good golf at the right time.
Ancer, who won the Australian Open late last year, is No. 67 in the FedEx Cup. The top 70 advance to the BMW Championship next week at Medinah, but a good finish could sew up a spot in the Tour Championship and make him eligible for all the majors next year.
“The only thing I have to worry about is still play some good golf tomorrow and that will take care of itself,” Ancer said. “I’m trying not to think about that that much.”
A dozen players were separated by five shots going into the final round.
Brandt Snedeker had a pair of eagles in his round of 63 that left him two shots behind, along with Jon Rahm, who had a 69. Justin Rose was among those another shot behind, with Rory McIlroy finishing with two birdies over his last three holes for a 70 to get within four shots of the lead.
M. Jutanugarn leads Ladies Scottish Open
NORTH BERWICK, Scotland — Trying to follow her sister with a Ladies Scottish Open victory, Moriya Jutanugarn shot a 4-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round at The Renaissance Club.
Ariya Jutanugarn won last year at Gullane. Moriya Jutanugarn had six birdies and two bogeys on her way to a 16-under 197 total.
Jeongeun Lee (66) and Mi Jung Hur (70) were tied for second. Lee won the U.S. Women’s Open in June in South Carolina.
Hur shot a 62 in the second round, taking just 24 putts. Mi Hyang Lee, the 2017 winner, was fourth at 12 under after a 68. Ariya Jutanugarn was 10 under with Jane Park, Chella Choi, Anne van Dam and Carly Booth.