No one with a chance to make the U.S. team for the Ryder Cup wants to talk about it.
Patrick Reed is getting to the point where he doesn't have to.
The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs also was the end of Ryder Cup qualifying, and while five Americans already have clinched a spot on the team — Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka — the other three automatic spots were up for grabs at The Barclays.
Reed was at No. 8, and his chances have improved dramatically with a two-shot lead going into the weekend at Bethpage Black.
He sees a bigger picture.
"I'm going into this week trying to win a golf tournament," Reed said.
He was at 8-under 134 and had a two-shot lead over Rickie Fowler (69) and Emiliano Grillo (69). The 16 players within five shots of the lead included defending champion Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, both four shots behind.
REED'S DROUGHT: Reed has gone 55 tournaments worldwide since his last victory, dating to his victory at Kapalua to start 2015. He has had five runner-up finishes since then, and he's pleased with his consistency. He just wasn't pleased with his finish on Friday.
Reed was three-putted from 30 feet for bogey on the 16th hole, leaving his first putt some 8 feet short. And after a 5-iron to tap-in range on the par-3 17th to restore a three-shot lead, he went with driver off the 18th tee. Reed thought about hitting 3-iron short of the bunkers, leaving him 165 yards. His caddie said driver would leave him 100 yards, and as well as he had been hitting it, he gave it a try. Reed went left into trouble and made bogey.
No matter. He says he has made only two mistakes all week, both leading to bogeys.
FLAWLESS FOWLER: Fowler blasted out of a bunker to 4 feet on the ninth hole on Thursday, and his par putt looked good all the way until it spun around the back of the cup and came back toward him. He still remembers that hole because it's the only bogey he has made at Bethpage Black this week.
Fowler was bogey-free for a 69 on Friday and was two shots out of the lead, along with Grillo.
"Any time you can go bogey-free out here at this place, it's good golf," Fowler said. "Yesterday I had about a 4-footer that came back at me — hit a good putt, should have went in, but didn't. Other than that, I'd be bogey-free through two rounds."
So yes, he feels good about his chances.
SPIETH'S COMEBACK: Jordan Spieth thought he hit a good approach on the 10th hole to start the round, only for the ball to miss by a foot and plug at the base of a bunker on No. 10. His only option was to play away from the green, and he made double bogey. Just like that, he was around the cut line.
Spieth steadied himself with a 31 on the front nine for a 67 and was four shots behind.
JASON'S FADE: Jason Day came out firing, with five birdies in seven holes to tie for the lead. And then it all went sideways, mainly off the tee.
Day played the next three holes in 4-over par to give all but one of those shots back. He also three-putted the 14th hole from 25 feet and wound up with a 70, leaving him four shots behind. The defending champion says the hard work he put in last week is starting to come around, and he has big hopes in store for the weekend.
THE CUT: The cut was at 4-over 146, and it was significant for 16 players.
Thirteen of them started the week out of the top 100 and were trying to advance to the next playoff event. Their season is over, a group that includes Francesco Molinari, David Toms and Boo Weekley. Three others still had a mathematical chance to qualify for the Ryder Cup team until they missed the cut — Bill Haas, Kevin Na and Daniel Summerhays. None has ever played in the Ryder Cup.
RYDER CUP: Perhaps the two players that interest Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III the most on the weekend are Zach Johnson and J.B. Holmes. Johnson is No. 7 in the standings, $188,257 ahead of Holmes, who is No. 9. Going into Saturday, it wouldn't take much for Holmes to make up the difference. Holmes was having a rough day until he birdied the 17th and 18th holes to salvage a 72. He was tied for 10th. Johnson was in a large tie for 39th.