JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - The harder he worked, the farther Patrick Reed felt he was falling behind. That's when the people around him sought drastic measures by making him leave his golf clubs alone for 10 whole days.
Recharged from his pre-summer break, Reed finally found the result he was looking for Sunday in The Northern Trust, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
He delivered key shots on three straight holes on the back nine at Liberty National - two for birdie, one for par - to overtake Jon Rahm, hold off Abraham Ancer, close with a 2-under 69 and win the FedEx Cup opener.
It was his first victory in 16 months over 41 tournaments worldwide dating to the 2018 Masters.
"The longer that time period is in between wins, it just makes it tougher," Reed said. "I was pushing too hard and was trying harder and all of a sudden, it was going the wrong direction. My team was smart enough to tell me to back off, shut it down and reset and get clear, because we can finish the year right. We can get a couple Ws, and no better place that starting the first week of the playoffs."
Points are quadrupled in the PGA Tour postseason, so the victory vaulted Reed from No. 50 to No. 2. His place in the Tour Championship is secure. His odds of the $15 million prize are greatly increased.
It still wasn't enough for him to get in the top eight qualifiers for the Presidents Cup, to be decided after next week. Reed went to No. 12 and he would have to win the BMW Championship next week to qualify.
Even so, it was the kind of victory to at least get the attention of U.S. captain Tiger Woods.
Reed finished at 16-under 268 and won for the seventh time in his career on the PGA Tour.
Ancer felt like a winner when it was over. He also played bogey-free over the final 12 holes, and his birdie on the 17th gave him hope. But his approach to the 18th came down below a ridge, and his long birdie putt to force a playoff went some 6 feet by the cup. He made that to finish alone in second, his best PGA Tour finish.
That was enough to send him from No. 67 to No. 8, with more perks that he could count.
Ancer is a lock to make it to the Tour Championship in two weeks, meaning he earns his first spot in the Masters. He wrapped up a spot on the International team for the Presidents Cup, making him the first Mexican in the event.
MONTREAL (AP) - Rafael Nadal won his fifth Rogers Cup title, beating Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-0 on Sunday in just 70 minutes.
The 33-year-old Nadal won the event for the third time in Montreal. The first came in 2005 at age 19 over Andre Agassi, and the second in 2013. Nadal won in Toronto in 2008 and 2018.
The second-ranked Spanish star won his 83rd singles title and third of the year, following clay victories in Rome and at the French Open. He extended his tour record for Masters 1000 titles to 35, two more than top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
Nadal had a walkover in the semifinals Saturday when Gael Monfils withdrew because of an ankle injury.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mets minor leaguer and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a cut on his left hand.
The 31-year-old Tebow hit .163 in 77 games during his first season with Triple-A Syracuse but hasn't played since July 21 after injuring himself fielding a ball in the outfield. The laceration required several stitches. Syracuse's regular season ends Sept. 2.
This is the second straight year Tebow's season will end prematurely. The outfielder missed the final two months of 2018 because of a broken bone in his right hand.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Sacramento forward Marvin Bagley III has told USA Basketball that he is withdrawing from consideration for the roster that will be sent to China this month for the FIBA World Cup.
Bagley's decision was revealed Sunday, two days before he was to report to El Segundo, California, for the second week of training camp. Bagley was not immediately replaced, and unless that changes the U.S. will have 16 players still in the mix for 12 final roster spots.
The New York Times first reported Bagley's decision to withdraw.