Patrick Reed’s place in the Ryder Cup is looking better with each round at The Barclays in Farmingdale, N.Y., and so are his prospects of winning.

Even with a careless finish Friday at Bethpage Black, Reed rode a fast start to a 3-under 68 and a 2-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo and Rickie Fowler in the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.

The Barclays is the final tournament for Americans to earn one of the eight automatic spots on the Ryder Cup team. Reed came into the week at No. 8. He had an 8-under 134 total.

“Really, I’m going into this week trying to win a golf tournament,” Reed said. “If I take care of me and do what I need to do this week, then Ryder Cup will take care of itself. So I’m not going into this week looking at it as, ‘Oh, I need to do this for the Ryder Cup.’ I’m going in this to think, ‘All right, I need to go win a golf tournament.’ ”

Fowler mostly likely needs third place alone to have any chance of qualifying for the Ryder Cup, and he has done his part. He played bogey-free in the sweltering heat, though still missing plenty of birdie chances. Par is never bad on the Black Course, however, and Fowler shot a 69. He has dropped only 1 shot all week, missing a 4-foot par putt Thursday that spun out of the back of the cup.

Grillo also had a 69, opening with a double bogey and finishing with a bogey.

Ryan Moore (68) was 3 shots behind, while defending champion Jason Day (70) and Jordan Spieth (67) were 4 back. Spieth is among the few who only have to think about the end of the FedEx Cup. He is No. 5 in the standings, and he already has clinched a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

The top 100 in the FedEx Cup advance to the next playoff event outside Boston next week, and 13 players outside the top 100 were eliminated when they didn’t advance to the weekend. As for the Ryder Cup, three players who missed the cut can no longer qualify — Bill Haas, Kevin Na and Daniel Summerhays.

Champions Tour

U.S. Senior Open champion Gene Sauers eagled the par-5 18th hole Friday for a 7-under 65 and a share of the Boeing Classic lead with Kirk Triplett in Snoqualmie, Wash.

Coming off his breakthrough victory two weeks ago in Ohio, the 54-year-old Sauers played the four par-5 holes in 5 under with the eagle and three birdies. He won three times on the PGA Tour.

Kirk Triplett had five- and four-hole birdie streaks at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Also 54, he followed a bogey on the 11th — his second hole of the day — with five straight birdies and added a birdie on 18. On his second nine, he bogeyed the third, then ran off four in a row. Triplett won the American Family Insurance Championship in June in Wisconsin for his fifth victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Duffy Waldorf and Stephen Ames were a stroke back.

Waldorf also had five straight birdies, from the 15th to the first. He won the season-opening event in Hawaii for his second senior title after winning four times in the PGA Tour. Ames played the final six holes in 6 under.

European Tour

Wales’ Bradley Dredge shot a 5-under 66 in windy conditions to take a 3-stroke lead in the Made In Denmark tournament. Dredge had a 13-under 129 total at Himmerland after opening with a 63 in Farso, Denmark.

Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren was second after a 70.

South Africa’s Richard Sterne (67) and Belgian Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters (71) were 9 under. Pieters matched the course record with a 62 in the first round.