Reed, Laird share Barclays lead at 66

Patrick Reed and Martin Laird of Scotland posted 5-under-par 66s and shared the first-round lead in the Barclays, the FedEx Cup playoffs opener, by one stroke over Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Kevin Chappell and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina at Bethpage Black in Farmington, N.Y.

Reed (pictured), who tied for 11th in the Olympics, had three birdies and sank a 17-foot eagle putt while finishing on the front nine after recording nine straight pars on the back nine.

“I really had to stay patient starting on the back nine, which is really tough, and seeing guys 1-, 2- or 3-under on the front,” said Reed, who is seventh in the FedEx standings but can take the lead with a victory.

“So I survived the back nine, then got it going and tore it up on the front. I made a nice birdie on the second and everything just clicked from there.”

Laird, who has won three times on the PGA Tour but not since the 2013 Valero Texas Open, birdied four of the first eight holes and added another on the 16th hole in another bogey-free round.

“I was able to take advantage of the two par-5s on the front and was 4-under,” said Laird, who went to Colorado State and lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. “The back nine is so hard and every hole seemed to be into the wind, so it was good to make a birdie on the 16th.

“I drove the ball well and you have to hit the fairway here to have a chance. It was nice to escape the back with no bogeys.”

Fowler holed a six-foot eagle putt on No. 6 in his 67, while Chappell birdied three of his first four holes and two of his last three, Holmes overcame two bogeys on the back nine with three birdies on each side, and Grillo had four birdies in the first seven holes to go with two birdies and two bogeys on the back.

Top-ranked Jason Day of Australia carded a 68 and was tied for seventh with Jonas Blixt of Sweden, Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela and Sung Kang of South Korea.

Adam Scott of Australia, who won the 2013 Barclays, was tied for 11th at 69, U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were tied for 22nd at 70, while third-ranked Jordan Spieth, fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and sixth-ranked Bubba Watson were in a tied for 20th at 70.

Olympic champion Justin Rose of England was tied for 69th at 73, silver medalist Henrik Stenson of Sweden withdrew because of right knee pain after a 74 and bronze medalist Matt Kuchar was tied for 51st at 72.

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