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Hurricane Harvey on minds of golfers at Northern Trust

Jhonattan Vegas watches his tee shot from the

Jhonattan Vegas watches his tee shot from the 17th green during the second round of The Northern Trust PGA golf tournament at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury on Aug. 25, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Some golfers are playing in Old Westbury this week with a concerned ear toward reports from their homes in Houston, which could be in the path of Hurricane Harvey. “Yeah, it’s hard not being home, not being able to help with the house and with everything,” said Jhonattan Vegas, one of four tied for the lead halfway through the Northern Trust.

His wife, daughter and mother are there, making him hopeful that the historic pattern of storms dissipating by the time they reach Houston holds up. “You never know what can happen,” he said. “I was in touch with them the whole day today.”

Vegas nonetheless shot 5-under-par 65 to go 6 under for the FedEx Cup playoff opener. Of the leaders (Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth), he is the most recent winner, having captured the RBC Canadian Open last month.

Patrick Reed is the most recent winner of this event, winning at Bethpage Black last August. He is tied for seventh at 3 under and also is tuned into forecasts. “We’ve been in contact with my mother-in-law back at the house, with our little daughter, just making sure everything is OK. We just hope the storm moves quickly,” he said. “The faster it moves, the better it is for everybody because then it can break up and it’s not sitting on top of you.”

Missing, making cut

Hideki Matsuyama, No. 1 on the FedEx Cup points list, missed a four-foot par putt on No. 18 and missed the cut by one shot, at 3 over…Rory McIlroy (+1) and Phil Mickelson (E) each rallied for a 68 and made the cut.

Long Island love

Rickie Fowler confirmed Justin Thomas’ report of the match the two played last Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, when both shot 65. “The greens were soft and you could throw darts with 5-irons, which won’t be the case next year at the U.S. Open,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite places to play. It’s the best out here on the Island and one of my favorites in the U.S., by far.”

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