Sergio Garcia Wins at TPC Las Colinas
Irving, Texas – Seventeen years ago he took the golf world by storm, playing in his first PGA Tour event as a professional at the Byron Nelson and finished third as a nineteen year old. Now 36, and a grizzled veteran who has seen his share of triumphs and tough defeats, Sergio Garcia shot 68 Sunday and found his way on the correct side of fortune late Sunday on the closing holes and playoff at TPC Las Colinas.
Garcia started the week on fire with an opening 63, but after rounds of 66-68, he started Sunday 3 shots behind 54 hole leader Brooks Koepka, who was atop the board at 16 under par. Starting the day in second place and playing alongside Koepka Sunday was hometown hero Jordan Spieth. The world No.2 was attempting to pull off a much sought after hometown victory . . . a lifelong dream that world No.3 Rory McIlroy accomplished earlier in the day at the Irish Open. It wasn’t to be for the Texan, who struggled once again on a Sunday – shooting 74 (finishing tied for 18th).
Garcia rinsed shots into the hazard on the eleventh and fourteenth holes, but he managed to save par on the eleventh after an outstanding third, and nearly chipped in for par on the fourteenth. Even though the Spaniard was holding it together, things didn’t look favorable for his chances to win his first tour event since the 2012 Wyndham Championship. When Koepka bogeyed the fourteenth and fifteenth, and Garcia birdied the sixteenth – it was knotted up at 15 under par, and stayed that way until Koepka (who shot a final round 70) and Garcia met in the playoff. When Koepka drove it into the water on the first playoff hole (the 18th), Garcia took advantage, making par and finishing off his first PGA Tour victory in 3 1/2 years. The win tied Garcia with the late Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros with 9 PGA Tour titles. Garcia was emotional with Nelson’s widow Peggy after the win, and later reflected on being fortunate to get the “W”.
“You have to get lucky to win golf tournaments,” Garcia said. “Playing well is usually not enough, it’s nice to be on the other side of the coin.”