Saturday 17 March 2018

Sergio Garcia pockets €1.15m after first PGA Tour win since 2012 as Spieth's slides continues

Sergio Garcia beat Brooks Koepka in a play-off to win the AT&T Byron Nelson despite twice finding the water in his final round.

The Spaniard took his first PGA Tour win since 2012 as he made par on the first play-off hole, the 18th, while Koepka drove into the water on his way to a double bogey.

It capped a poor day for Koepka, who completed his final round in 71, one over par, after three bogeys, including back-to-back dropped shots on the 14th and 15th which left the door open to his rivals as he fell to 15 under.

Only Garcia was able to take advantage, however, as the 2004 winner, who was in the lead after the first round, battled his way to a 68 which included four bogeys and six birdies, forcing the play-off.

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Garcia was able to save par on the 11th despite finding the water with his tee shot, but was not so lucky on the 14th when an errant second shot into water contributed to a bogey.

But when it was all over, Garcia collected his ninth PGA Tour victory, matching the late Seve Ballasteros for the most by a Spaniard.

"It's awesome," Garcia said on the PGA Tour website. "Obviously to up there with Seve for me means so much. I can also say I won a little bit a la Seve today. I definitely wasn't on. I played really well the last five holes including the play-off but other than that I was battling with my swing a little bit."

Koepka had been disappointed with his performance even on Saturday when a 65 took him into the lead, and admitted he had made it difficult for himself.

"I really didn't have it for the last 36 holes," he said. "Just no idea where the ball is going and you can't play like that here."

Jordan Spieth, who began the day in second place hoping to fix what amounts to a poor record in his native Texas since a 16th-placed finish here as a 16-year-old, imploded as he carded six bogeys in a round of 74 which sent him tumbling all the way down to a share of 18th place.

Matt Kuchar hung on to third place, one shot back, with a round of 69 keeping him one shot ahead of a six-way tie for fourth which included Spencer Levin, Charles Howell III, Robert Garrigus, Tim Wilkinson, Bud Cauley and Colt Knost, who joined the party with a round of 65 which included eight birdies and three bogeys.

Press Association

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