Patrick Reed takes one-shot lead at FedEx Cup opener

Patrick Reed is finally being rewarded with good scores, and he hopes it can be enough to turn around his season.

He is winless in the past 16 months dating to the 2018 Masters. He started the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 50, leaving him little room for a bad week. He is in danger of being left off a U.S. team for the first time since his rookie season in 2013.

Reed put himself in position to change his outlook Saturday with a 4-under-par 67, giving him a one-shot lead at 14-under 199 over Mexico’s Abraham Ancer (68) going into the final round of the Northern Trust in Jersey City, N.J.

“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, lost ground on a blustery day at Liberty National.

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 double bogey — his first of the week — from the fairway on No. 7 and recorded only two birdies in his round of 74.

A dozen players were separated by five shots going into the final round.

Brandt Snedeker had two eagles in his round of 63 that left him two shots behind, along with Jon Rahm of Spain, 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.

U.S. Women’s Amateur: Stanford’s Albane Valenzuela, who is No. 5 in the women’s world amateur rankings, will play for the amateur national title Sunday after defeating Megha Ganne, 15, of Holmdel, N.J., in 19 holes at West Point, Miss.

However, it won’t be an All-Stanford final. Valenzuela’s teammate, second-ranked Andrea Lee, lost 2-up to Gabriela Ruffels, a sophomore at USC.

Sunday’s 36-hole final will thus be an all-Pac-12 matchup and nly the third international matchup — with Valenzuela hailing from Switzerland and Ruffels from Australia — in the long history of the event. The other two times were in 1910 and 2016.

When walking to the first extra hole, Valenzuela said, “I told myself, ‘Do not regret this. Do not let it slip off your hands. You have control over it. And even when you start feeling a little nervous, I’m like, I want this.’ I wanted to go to the finals, and so that’s what you need to do to go to the finals is make birdie.”

She did.

LPGA Tour: Trying to follow her sister with a Ladies Scottish Open victory, Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn shot a 4-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead at 16-under 197 into the final round in North Berwick. Ariya Jutanugarn won the event last year.

South Korean players Jeongeun Lee6 (66) and Mi Jung Hur (70) were tied for second. Lee6 won the U.S. Women’s Open in June.

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