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After breaking a gavel at the New York Stock Exchange, Patrick Reed pounds Bethpage Black

August 25, 2016

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- When Patrick Reed broke the gavel during Tuesday's closing bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange, a CNBC anchor wondered if that was a good sign for the market. Through one round at the Barclays, though, it appears to have been a good omen for his golf.

On Thursday, Reed pounded Bethpage Black to the tune of a five-under 66 to grab a share of the early lead with Martin Laird. After parring his first 10 holes (Reed started on the back nine), he fired a 31 on the front nine. And while Reed would like nothing more than to end a winless drought that's approaching 20 months, he knows it will just take a good week at the Barclays to guarantee him a spot in a certain event next month.

"Of course it's on my mind," Reed said of the Ryder Cup. "But really at the end 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, who went an impressive 3-0-1 in his Ryder Cup debut in 2014, enters the Barclays in the precarious eighth spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The top eight after this event will automatically qualify for Team USA. The rest will have to rely on being picked by captain Davis Love III. Based on his performance in 2014 and the nine top 10s in 2015-16, which only trails Dustin Johnson, Reed seems likely to be headed to Hazeltine next month. But like all the Ryder Cup hopefuls, he'd rather not leave that up to chance.

"I know for me this year, it's about getting sweet revenge," Reed said. "Because my first one was down at Gleneagles, and I played some great golf, but at the end of the day, our team didn't win."

As for Tuesday's incident on Wall Street that went viral, Reed was a little less serious.

"We were laughing so hard when it happened," Reed said with a smile. "The cool thing was that I got to be there. . . . It was a great experience and hopefully, I'll get to go back there."

Perhaps, you will, Patrick. If you promise not to do anymore damage.