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Duo share lead at PGA's Barclays

ARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Patrick Reed didn't break anything Thursday except par.

Two days after Reed broke the gavel during the ceremonial closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the American kept a clean card and shot 5-under 66 to share the lead with Martin Laird at the Barclays.

Reed was dressed in a blue blazer with an American tie when he was asked to bang the gavel three times at the stock exchange closing on Tuesday. On the third hit, the top of the gavel flew off into the crowd, and Reed later made a joke at his own expense on Twitter.

"They told me to give it 3 good hits, so I did!" he tweeted.

He was much better with a golf club at Bethpage Black, running off three birdies and an eagle on the front nine to close out his 66.

The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, with a $10 million bonus waiting at the end, was more about a cup that doesn't pay a dime. A dozen or so Americans are still in the mix to make the Ryder Cup team. Qualifying ends after this week for the top eight, then Davis Love has four captain's picks over the next month.

Reed is winless this year and holding down the No. 8 position in the Ryder Cup standings.

"Of course it's on my mind," Reed said. "But really at the end of the day, it's just trying to get better and play this tournament. Because if I play well, that means those other guys are going to have to play even better to try to catch me."

Reed and Laird, who also played bogey-free, were one shot ahead of three other Ryder Cup hopefuls — Rickie Fowler, Kevin Chappell and J.B. Holmes, whose 67 was the best score among those who played in stronger wind in the afternoon. Defending champ Jason Day, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, was among those at 68.

Of the 18 players who broke 70, five played late.

Chappell likely would have to win the Barclays to make the team, while Fowler needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to have a mathematical chance. Fowler went from Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics to North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship to help his cause, but he only tied for 22nd.

"That's the No. 1 priority coming into the year," Fowler said. "I'd say that's always one of the main goals coming into a Ryder Cup year. … That was the whole reason playing last week, trying to get more points. It would be nice to have a chance to make that team without having to get picked."

The Barclays is the start of a four-tournament series in which the field size shrinks until 30 qualify for the finale at the Tour Championship. Laird started at No. 89, and with only the top 100 in the standings advancing, starting well was crucial.

Henrik Stenson (right knee) and Brett Stegmaier (wrist) withdrew.

LPGA: Top-ranked and three-time champion Lydia Ko shot 5-under 67, leaving her a stroke behind leader Stephanie Meadow in the rain-interrupted Canadian Pacific Women's Open in Alberta. Ko has won the event three of the past four years, the first two as an amateur. South Korea's Mirim Lee and Mi Jung Hur matched Ko at 67.

Duo share lead at PGA's Barclays 08/25/16 [Last modified: Thursday, August 25, 2016 9:53pm]
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