2016 Byron Nelson
Garcia’s win at the 2012 Wyndham ended one lengthy drought, but began another, equally long one. It lasted 60 tournaments. By the start of the 2016 Nelson, Garcia was 36 years old, and there were open questions about whether he continued to be a credible factor on tour.
He came to the Nelson with only two top 10 finishes – a sixth at the British Open and a second at the Honda – over the past 12 months. He was coming off a tie for 54th at the previous week’s Players.
Garcia came out firing. His Thursday 63 led Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth by one stroke, with Brooks Koepka two back. Koepka made the Friday-Saturday charge with rounds of 64 and 65 to lead Garcia, Matt Kuchar and Bud Cauley by three strokes.
Sunday’s victory did not come easily. After a solid front nine that positioned him for the win, Garcia strewed four bogeys – two with balls in the water – around the back nine. He still recorded a 68 fro 265, tying Koepka when the latter bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes and missed a potential winning birdie opportunity at the 18th.
The playoff suspense evaporated as soon as Koepka struck his drive, which found the pond left of the fairway. Garcia’s driver and wedge left him with a 17-foot birdie putt, lagging it close enough for the winning tap-in par.