2005 Booz Allen
The U.S. Open was a letdown. At Shinnecock Hills, Garcia finished 15 strokes behind Retief Goosen and began a year-long winless stretch. But he returned to the winner’s circle in June of 2005 at the Booz Allen, played at Congressional.
A relatively minor event one week before the Open at Pinehurst, the Booz Allen still carried a $5 million purse, with $900,000 going to the winner. Per his usual routine, Woods took the week off, preferring to prepare for the Open. But Mickelson, who always preferred to prep in front of a competitive field, did enter. So did Els and Adam Scott.
Garcia’s opening 71 was unremarkable, leaving him back in a tie for 49th, a full eight strokes behind Matt Gogel’s 63. The only good news was that his two big-name challengers, Singh and Mickelson, both also shot 71s.
And again, Garcia quickly recovered. He followed that 71 with a 68 and 66 to stand at 205, just two strokes behind veteran Tom Kite, entering final round play.
That was the good news. The bad news was that he was one of a half dozen players tied at 205, with another half dozen bunched up at 204, just one behind Kite.
With that closely bunched a field, somebody was almost assured of getting hot. Garcia turned out to be that guy. His final 65 was two strokes better than Ben Crane – one of those tied with Garcia through three rounds – and three better than Adam Scott, among the pack at 204.
None of the other leaders broke 70, leaving Garcia two shots clear of Scott, Crane and Love.
Again he hoped to use the victory as a stepping stone to the U.S. Open title, and again he was disappointed. This time his 285 was good only for a tie for third, five strokes behind surprise champion Michael Campbell and three behind Woods.