Bryson DeChambeau believes he has been an unfair target of criticism for slow play at The Northern Trust, with the world number eight vehemently defending himself after being widely rebuked by fans and players alike.

Clips were shared on social media showing the American taking more than two minutes to play both a 70-yard pitch and a putt from inside 10 feet, which he missed, at Liberty National in New Jersey.

A number of fans were quick to show their disapproval on Twitter, and the likes of Ian Poulter, Rich Beem and Eddie Pepperell joined the dissenting voices, the latter labelling DeChambeau a "single-minded twit".

Justin Thomas - one of DeChambeau's playing partners on Friday - said after the round: "The slow people know who they are, and they just need to play faster."

However, after posting a third-round 71 on Saturday, DeChambeau addressed the issue and defended the way he plays the game. 

"A lot of it [slow play] is [down to] the caddies. A lot of it is the other players," DeChambeau said. "They don't care about walking fast. I play a different way out there.

"I take my 40 seconds that's allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree. It's maybe five per cent of the time.

"But I'll tell you that it's really kind of unfortunate the way it's perceived because there's a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don't talk about this matter and for me, personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever.

"People don't realise the harm they are doing to the individuals."

Discussing the fellow professionals who criticised him on Twitter, DeChambeau added: "Look, they are great individuals. I'm not going to say anything bad about them.

"My competitors here on tour, they have all been nice to me and I don't have any issues with any of them.

"We are all trying to do our best to play well and make our livelihoods and win tournaments, right. But when you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it's like, come on, dude. Let's have some more, I was going to say something else, but let's have some more balls ... speak to me to my face about that.

"When people start talking to me about slow play and how I'm killing the game, I'm doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what. That's not fair."

Patrick Reed edged into a one-stroke lead at the Northern Trust as Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth struggled during the third round on Saturday.

Reed and Abraham Ancer battled it out for top spot in the final holes of the round at Liberty National Golf Club.

The two traded places until Reed took the outright lead, moving to 14 under at the opening FedEx Cup play-offs event.

The American used five birdies to help counter a bogey on the par-four 15th hole and carded a four-under 67 on Saturday. It was one stroke off the 66s he carded in both the first and second rounds, but it was enough to gain some ground on Ancer and the rest of the field.

Ancer also had a few hiccups with bogeys on both the front and back nines, including the par-four 16th hole, as he carded a 68.

Johnson and Spieth were the top two overnight, but they fell back after shooting three-over 74s.

World number two Johnson is at nine under in a tie for 10th after carding four bogeys on his last six holes to be just one shot ahead of Spieth.

Brandt Snedeker fired the best round of the day – an eight-under 63 – to move into a tie for third place at 12 under with Jon Rahm (69).

Danny Willett, Justin Rose and Harold Varner III are tied for fifth at 11 under, while Louis Oosthuizen and Rory McIlroy make up a tie for eighth a shot further back.

Bryson DeChambeau's patient approach to play at the Northern Trust does not look to have gone down at all well with fans and his fellow professionals.

Video clips were shared on social media of DeChambeau taking several minutes to line up his shots in New Jersey this week.

One video appeared to show playing partners Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood looking disinterested as DeChambeau went to his book three times for a putt at the eighth.

And with fans taking to Twitter to bemoan this sluggish play, the likes of Ian Poulter and Rich Beem also weighed in.

Poulter replied to one fan who claimed players like DeChambeau had meant he no longer watched the PGA Tour.

"Andrew, I'm sorry you've stopped watching @PGATour," Poulter wrote. "There are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pros and continue to break the rules without a conscience.

"It should be self policed but clearly this won't happen. [It is] so disappointing it hasn't been stopped."

One-time US PGA Championship winner Beem was a little less measured, responding to a clip: "THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!!!! @PGATOUR, if you don't do something about this, SHAME ON YOU!!!

"As a member, I'm OUTRAGED you can tolerate this. You talk about 'protecting the field', then protect it by penalising/DQing this type of behaviour!! ENOUGH!!!"

Eddie Pepperell was scathing of DeChambeau and added: "Just look at Tommy and Justin, both looking completely bored.

"Slow players do this to their playing partners, making the game less enjoyable. Problem is the unaffected single-minded twit in this instance doesn't care much for others."

Ross Fisher called for action. "All the governing bodies need to come together and find a solution," he said.

"It ruins the game for players, fans that watch live, plus at home on TV. Something needs to be done and done now."

Dustin Johnson holds a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth at the halfway mark of the Northern Trust.

Johnson backed up his opening-round 63 with a four-under 67 on Friday to move into 12 under and the solo lead at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.

The world number two birdied the par-four 15th hole to take a share of the lead and then moved one stroke ahead of Spieth with another birdie on the final hole.

It looked as if Spieth would carry his lead into the weekend of the first FedEx Cup play-offs event until Johnson stormed up the standings.

Spieth, winless since 2017, posted the equal lowest round of the day with a seven-under 64.

There is a four-way tie for third place at 10 under between Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm, Troy Merritt and Abraham Ancer.

The second round featured plenty of drama.

It started early with the news that Tiger Woods was not going to play into the weekend, withdrawing before Friday's round with an oblique strain.

The drama continued with a weather delay that lasted just over 30 minutes, and a penalty. Rory McIlroy was assessed a two-stroke penalty just as he was chipping away at the leaderboard. 

McIlroy hit his tee shot on the par-three 14th hole into the greenside bunker. Before he took his approach shot, he removed what he thought was a stone or other object but it turned out to be sand. After alerting the rules official, he was given the penalty.

However, the drama took another turn when the penalty was ultimately rescinded after play finished.

A birdie on 15 helped McIlroy recover from the blunder and sit in a tie for seventh place at nine under with Andrew Putnam, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen and Wyndham Clark.

Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Sergio Garcia were among the players to miss the cut.

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Northern Trust due to an oblique strain, the 2019 Masters champion confirmed on Friday.

Woods carded a dismal four-over 75 in the opening round of the first tournament of the FedExCup playoffs at Liberty National on Thursday.

However, the 43-year-old will now have to focus on recovering for the upcoming BMW Championship after he was ruled out of the rest of the competition.

"I went for treatment early Friday morning, but unfortunately I'm still unable to compete," Woods said in a statement distributed by the PGA Tour.

"I'd like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship."

Woods has a history of back problems that he has previously described as his "new normal".

Dustin Johnson opened the Northern Trust with an impressive eight-under 63 as Troy Merritt took a one-stroke lead on Thursday.

Johnson, a two-time champion of the event, sits outright second after a bogey-free first round that included eight birdies.

The world number two made four birdies on his front nine before four straight beginning at the fifth hole at the first event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.

"It's a golf course I like. We played here in the Presidents Cup a couple of years ago and I've played a couple of other events here," Johnson said.

"I really like the golf course. I think it sets up well for me, and with the conditions, you've got to hit really good shots if you want to get it close to the hole, but with the soft conditions, you can be kind of aggressive."

Merritt carded a nine-under 62 to grab the lead as the American also fired a bogey-free opening round in New Jersey.

He tied a Liberty National Golf Club course record with his round, which featured nine birdies.

"We're in a good position now to contend for the championship," Merritt told reporters after his round.

"That's why we tee it up each week. Obviously this week, it's a little bit different with just trying to get into next week … and now we can shift our focus from winning the golf tournament."

Kevin Kisner and Jon Rahm are tied for third after shooting seven-under 64s in the opening round, sitting a shot ahead of Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

Jordan Spieth made a solid start with a 67 and world number one Brooks Koepka opened with a 70 as Tiger Woods struggled.

Woods is back in a tie for 116th after battling to a four-over 75 that included a double bogey and five bogeys.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau is tied for 33rd after shooting a three-under 68.

Tiger Woods limped to four over par halfway through his opening round at the Northern Trust on Thursday, though managed to recover slightly on the back nine to card 75.

Woods teed off early in New Jersey with no fans in attendance due to damage caused by storms, but gave himself little chance of making the cut with a front nine marred by three bogeys and a double bogey, only offset by a single birdie.

The 43-year-old made the turn at a four-over 39, and at one stage found himself at T-58 among 58 golfers on the course.  

A birdie at the start of the back nine offered some hope, but Woods then missed a clean-up par putt from three feet two holes later.

Since winning the Masters in April, his 15th major victory, Woods has missed the cut at the PGA Championship and British Open and finished T-21 at the U.S. Open.

He entered the week just inside the top 30 at number 28 on the FedExCup points list. He is assured of playing in next week's BMW Championship in Boston, which is for the top 70 players in the points standings.

Tiger Woods teed off to little acclaim at the Northern Trust on Thursday after spectators were temporarily prevented from coming on to the course.

Thunderstorms that rolled through Liberty National Golf Club late Wednesday afternoon brought not only rain but also strong wind that damaged some structures and hospitality tents at the New Jersey venue and forced the tournament to delay opening the gates until 10 am ET Thursday, well past Woods' opening round tee time of 7:43am.

"We’re an outdoor sport, so Mother Nature is bound to show up and change our well-laid plans on occasion,” tournament executive director Julie Tyson said.

“We’re grateful that no one was injured and that damage was cosmetic and replaced. We look forward to welcoming the world’s best players – and all of the fans who have been waiting for this event all year long – to the kick-off of the FedExCup Playoffs.

"We couldn't be more excited about the favourable forecast [for] the rest of the week and can't wait to see everyone here.”

Woods, grouped with Scott Piercy and JT Poston, isn't the only marquee player who'll be well into his round by the time the galleries arrives. Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy, for example, begin their rounds at 8:16am. Gates were originally scheduled to open at 7am.

Woods made a slow start and was three over par through five holes.

J.T. Poston matched a feat set 45 years ago as he claimed his maiden PGA Tour title at the Wyndham Championship.

American Poston carded an eight-under-par 62 for a one-stroke victory at the Sedgefield Country Club on Sunday.

Poston's triumph was even more impressive, given he did not bogey a hole throughout his four rounds in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The 26-year-old – who had an eagle and six birdies on the final day – became the first player to secure a bogey-free victory after 72 holes since Lee Trevino in 1974. 

Poston finished 22 under overall, ahead of countryman Webb Simpson – who posted a five-under-par 65.

Overnight leader and South Korean An Byeong-hun (67) dropped to third after ending the tournament two shots off the pace.

Similar to Poston, An was bogey-free entering the final round but made a few mistakes on his closing holes to knock him down the leaderboard.

It looked as if An would make up for his first bogey on the par-five 15th hole after he recovered with a birdie on 16.

But he had another bogey on the par-four 18th hole to end his round.

Viktor Hovland had his first finish not only inside the top 10 but inside the top five as he placed fourth at 19 under, while Kim Si-woo (64) was two strokes further back.

Meanwhile, for the first time in the FedExCup era the playoffs will not include Zach Johnson.

Johnson – ranked 152 heading into the tournament – required at least a top-six finish to crack the 125-man field for next week's Northern Trust.

However, Johnson could only manage a final-round 66 as he tied for 53rd position.

An Byeong-hun holds a one-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round of the Wyndham Championship.

South Korea's An carded a four-under-par 66 to preserve his position atop the leaderboard following Saturday's third round in Greensboro, North Carolina.

An, who had shared or held the solo lead since Thursday, is searching for his first PGA Tour win and he was able to keep his bogey-free streak alive through 54 holes at the Sedgefield Country Club.

His round was highlighted by an impressive 51-plus foot putt, the longest of the PGA season, as he improved to 17 under for the tournament.

American Webb Simpson (65) at one point tied An for the lead after a near-perfect round.

Simpson used a spotless front nine to put pressure on An, including a birdie on the par-fourth 9th hole. He ultimately fell into second place, a stroke off the pace after a bogey on the par-four 14th hole.

Fellow American Brice Garnett is level alongside Simpson following his four-under-par 66, while Ryan Armour (65) is a shot further back.

Viktor Hovland (64), J.T. Poston (66) and Paul Casey (66) are tied for third position at 14 under heading into the deciding round.

Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth's woes continued after he capitulated following a seven-over-par 77 on Saturday.

Spieth started the day just four shots off the lead but three double bogeys and a bogey without a birdie saw the former world number one miss the 54-hole cut – a rule employed when too many players make the 36-hole cut.

"Yeah, it was just a bad day," Spieth, who has not won a tournament since 2017, said. "Overall, just didn't play well."

An Byeong-hun edged into a one-stroke lead at the Wyndham Championship, while Jordan Spieth remained in contention at the halfway mark.

An, 27, sits alone atop the leaderboard at 13 under entering the weekend at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The South Korean shot a blemish-free five-under 65 on Friday with consecutive birdies on his front nine, the 14th and 15th holes, and again after he made the turn from the third through the fifth.

His steady play kept him ahead after entering the day sharing the 18-hole lead, and all it took was some impressive putting to separate himself from the field. An sunk a 30-foot putt at the fourth hole and sits just one stroke ahead of Brice Garnett.

Garnett matched his opening round of six-under 64 to move into second at 12 under.

He also finished the day with a clean scorecard and was mere inches away from yet another tie for first.

Spieth backed up his opening-round 64 with a three-under 67 to get to nine under, four shots adrift of the lead.

Im Sung-jae – the other 18-hole leader – Patton Kizzire, Adam Svensson, Josh Teater, Webb Simpson and Mackenzie Hughes are at 11 under.

Paul Casey highlights the three-way tie for ninth at 10 under, while defending champion Brandt Snedeker fell back to a tie for 38th after an even-par 70.

Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Streelman and Cameron Smith missed the cut, set at four under.

An Byeong-hun and Im Sung-jae fired eight-under 62s to lead the Wyndham Championship as Jordan Spieth also made a fine start on Thursday.

An and Im shot bogey-free opening rounds at the Sedgefield Country Club to share a one-stroke lead in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The South Korean pair are both looking for their first wins on the PGA Tour, but top what is a congested leaderboard.

Spieth is part of a tie for seventh at six under after shooting a mixed 64 that included an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

The 2013 runner-up, looking for his first win since 2017, is joined by Josh Teater, Webb Simpson, defending champion Brandt Snedeker, Brice Garnett, Seamus Power, Ryan Armour, Ted Potter Jr and Kiradech Aphibarnrat at six under.

Mackenzie Hughes, Rory Sabbatini, Patrick Rodgers and Johnson Wagner are ahead of that group after carding 63s.

Paul Casey made a decent start with a five-under 65, while Hideki Matsuyama opened with a 67.

Brooks Koepka revealed he battled illness on his way to the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational title.

The world number one fired a five-under 65 in the final round on Sunday to claim a three-stroke victory and his first WGC crown.

However, Koepka, who now has seven PGA Tour wins, said he had been unwell throughout the tournament.

"It doesn't affect me hitting a golf ball. I don't feel good," he told the Golf Channel.

"I haven't felt good all week, but I don't want to make an excuse, I'm not trying to complain. Just get on with it. People go to work sick all the time."

Koepka's win continued what has been a dominant run by the American, who has secured four major triumphs since the start of 2017.

The 29-year-old said his win at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, was among his favourites.

"It's special. These last few years have been unbelievable, it's been an incredible run, I'm playing some good golf and I'm excited for what the future holds," Koepka said.

"This place has always been special to me, everything, with FedEx being here, St. Jude being here, it's always been a fun place for me to come.

"It's always a special place, but to win here, this one goes down as one of my favourites."

Collin Morikawa broke through for his maiden PGA Tour win in just his sixth professional start, claiming the Barracuda Championship on Sunday.

Morikawa, 22, earned a three-point win in Reno, Nevada, after a brilliant final round that saw him hole seven birdies in the modified stableford format.

The American was making just his sixth PGA Tour start as a professional and he secured victory with 47 points, ahead of Troy Merritt (44), John Chin (40) and Robert Streb (40).

Morikawa made two birdies on the front nine before a stunning finish, producing four more on his final five holes, including a 29-foot putt on the 17th.

He came into the tournament on the back of two top-five finishes, while his worst result since his professional debut in June was a tied for 36th at the Travelers Championship.

Brooks Koepka saw off Rory McIlroy to claim his maiden World Golf Championship at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

World number one Koepka celebrated a three-stroke victory after carding a five-under-par 65 in Memphis on Sunday.

Koepka – a four-time major champion – enjoyed a flawless final round with five birdies, including three in a four-hole stretch at TPC Southwind.

The American star and FedEx Cup leader finished 16 under overall for his third win of the season and seventh of his career, ahead of countryman Webb Simpson (64).

Simpson's round was highlighted with an eagle on the par-five third hole but a bogey just before making the turn sullied his scorecard.

Australian Marc Leishman, who also climbed up the leaderboard, rounded out the top three at 12 under after his final-round 67.

Overnight leader and former world number one McIlroy ended the tournament five shots off the pace following his one-over-par 71.

McIlroy – who won the tournament in 2014 – was the man to beat following the third round after he posted an eight-under-par 62 for a one-shot lead ahead of Koepka.

But the 54-hole leader was unable to maintain his charge after missing the cut at The Open last week – McIlroy falling victim to two bogeys on his back nine as he finished alongside Tommy Fleetwood (66) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (69).

Spanish star Jon Rahm (69) was a stroke further back at 10 under, ahead of Ian Poulter (69).

Defending champion Justin Thomas had to settle for a share of 12th position at six under following his final-round 71.

Thomas finished alongside Jordan Spieth (68), Alex Noren (73), Patrick Reed (68), Rafa Cabrera Bello (66), Aaron Rai (67), Patrick Cantlay (68) and Cameron Smith (68).

Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson – the 2016 champion – ended the event a stroke further back after shooting a two-under-par 68.

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