The last time we saw Sergio Garcia with a Trophy in his hand on American soil, was at the 2008 Players Championship, but that dry spell ended today when Sergio won the rain delayed Windham Championship. The rains finally quit, and the remaining players who were on the course this morning at 9 AM to finish their fourth round, we’re all unable to catch the 32 year old Spaniard in the last tournament before golf’s FedEx Cup playoff starts next week.
Garcia put on a birdie clinic, starting at the 15th hole, which did not end until he pulled his drive on 18, into the trees. His only shot was to play sideways back to the fairway, and ending his round with a bogey 5, on his way to a 66 , and a two shot lead over Tim Clark. Garcia had a four shot lead when he teed off at 18, but Clark would make his only birdie on the day at 18, and draw to within three as Sergio played out of the trees behind him.
Sergio shot a 3 under 67 on Thursday, but the 63 on Friday put him in contention for the weekend where he shot 66 in both of the final rounds to lock up the win. Tim Clark played well enough to win, but after making three birdies and only one bogey on the front nine, couldn’t get his putts to drop after play resumed on Monday, and could only manage the one birdie at 18 to shoot a 67, locking up second place.
Garcia’s playing partner, Bud Cauley continued to play well Monday, but couldn’t find enough birdies to compete. He ended with a 68, which was good enough for a third place finish and a check for $353,000. Jason Dufner, Carl Pettersson and Jimmy Walker all made valiant runs, but in the end, came up short.
The fourth round was called at 5:30 on Sunday when the course became overwhelmed with water, and the ground crews were fighting a losing battle trying to get the course dry enough to play. Tournament officials decided to let the course drain overnight, and pick up action on Monday. The lift, clean and place was in effect as the course was still very wet when play resumed.
The victory at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina did two important things for Garcia. It moved him up in the FedEx Cup standings, but most importantly, gave European Ryder Cup Captain and countryman, Jose Maria Olazabal something to consider when he makes his captains picks next month. Garcia, who has been mired in mediocrity for the past four years has not made the team on points, and will need a favorable look from Olazabal.
Being from Borriol Castellion Spain, and following in the footsteps of Ballesteros and Olazabal, Garica joined the European and PGA Tours in 1999, and was billed as the European Tiger Woods. He was young, and could match the length of Tiger, but unfortunately could never putt like Tiger. With only 8 wins in the US, he has been somewhat of a disappointment over the years, and with his attitude, volatile at times, has never reached the star status he was slated for.
With 23 total world wide wins, Garcia has 8 on the PGA Tour, 10 on the European Tour, 2 on the Asian Tour and two Others Wins. He was the the Rookie of the year in 1999 when he was the runner up at the PGA Championship, he won the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson Award in 2008 as well as finishing runner up again at the PGA. His best finish at Augusta was a T-4 in 2004, he finished tied for third at the US Open in 2005.
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