FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Patrick Reed's place in the Ryder Cup is looking better with each round at the Barclays, and so are his prospects of winning the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
At Bethpage Black on Friday, Reed rode a fast start to 3-under 68 and a two-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo and Rickie Fowler after the second round.
The Barclays is the final tournament for Americans to earn one of the eight automatic spots on the team for the Ryder Cup, which begins Sept. 30. Reed, who has gone 55 tournaments worldwide since his last victory, came into the week at No. 8.
"Really, I'm going into this week trying to win a golf tournament," Reed said. "If I take care of me and do what I need to do this week, then Ryder Cup will take care of itself."
Reed was at 8-under 134.
Fowler likely needs third place alone to have any chance of qualifying for the Ryder Cup. He played bogey-free in the sweltering heat, though he missed plenty of birdie chances. Par is never bad on the Black Course, however, and Fowler shot 69.
He had dropped only one shot all week, missing a 4-foot par putt Thursday that spun out of the back of the cup.
"Any time you can go bogey-free out here at this place, it's good golf," Fowler said.
Grillo also had 69, opening with double bogey and finishing with bogey.
Ryan Moore (68) was three back, and defending champion Jason Day (70) and Jordan Spieth (67) were four back.
Day tied for the lead early in the round when he ran off four straight birdies on the easier front nine. But his tee shots got wild, he finished some swings with only one hand on the club, and he dropped four shots around the turn.
"I'm really looking forward to the weekend," Day said. "I feel like I'm really close."
Spieth missed the cut at the Barclays a year ago, and he started off Friday in that direction when his approach to the tough 10th buried in the lip of a deep bunker. Spieth had to play away from the green and made double bogey.
His caddie, Michael Greller, told him to forget the hole ever happened and try to get those two shots back before making the turn. He eventually did, and then a lot more. Spieth shot 31 on the front nine, including a 6-iron that hopped out of the rough to 3 feet on the par-5 fourth hole for eagle.
"Resetting a goal there is really key for me to get my mind away from what happened and look forward," Spieth said. "It's such a tough golf course. It's rare when we play tournaments on courses this challenging. Normally they're majors. But 4 under makes up a lot of ground."
Spieth is among the few who have to think only about the end of the FedEx Cup. He is No. 5 in the point standings and already has clinched a Ryder Cup spot. The top 100 in the point standings after the Barclays advance to the next playoff event.