Sergio Garcia secures two shot win
Sergio Garcia claimed a two-stroke victory Monday in the rain-delayed Wyndham Championship to earn his first PGA Tour victory since the 2008 Players Championship.
Garcia finished with a 66 to wind up at 18-under 262 and claim $936,000 in prize money.
Tim Clark was at 16 under following his 67 in the final tour event before the playoffs, and Bud Cauley finished 15 under after his 68.
Garcia led both after the third round and when the fourth round was held up overnight due to a persistent downpour.
He had three straight late-round birdies after a bogey briefly dropped him into a tie for the lead, and cruised to his eighth career PGA victory.
Garcia began the decisive surge on the par-4 No. 13, plopping his chip roughly a foot from the flagstick and tapped it in for birdie.
He added another birdie on No. 15 - a pretty chip from a greenside bunker left him with a 5-foot putt - and followed that with another birdie on the par-3 16th after his tee shot stopped closer than 2 feet from the stick. He added a birdie on No. 17 to move to 19 under, leaving his bogey on the final hole inconsequential.
It was a bit of redemption for the 32-year-old Spaniard, who in his last appearance in Greensboro in 2009 held a share of the lead after three rounds but let it slip away and finished in fourth place.
This time, he finished strong to give a huge boost to his candidacy for a spot on the European Ryder Cup team. The 10 automatic qualifiers will be set following the Johnny Walker Invitational with Jose Maria Olazabal making two captain's picks.
In addition to the quests by players on both sides for Ryder Cup selections, much of the focus - as it always is at the tour's annual late-season stop in central North Carolina - was on the chase to make the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin in a few days at The Barclays.
But everything wound up taking a back seat to the weather, as heavy rains dumped more than 2 inches of water on the Sedgefield course on Sunday.
The final round was halted at roughly 3 p.m. with 38 players still on the course and seven players within three shots of Garcia. The decision came 2 1/2 hours later to hold off until Monday morning - the first Monday finish in Greensboro since 1983.
Clark, a South African and local favorite who played college golf at North Carolina State, matched Garcia at 15 under with a birdie on his third hole of the day, the par-4 No. 8. Garcia moved to 16 under with a birdie on the par-4 No. 11, but he gave that stroke back with a bogey on the next hole after missing a 10-foot putt for par.
Moments later, Chad Campbell joined them atop the leaderboard after his third consecutive birdie came on the 17th. Then Garcia made his big move.
Among the playoff hopefuls, Heath Slocum played his way into The Barclays. His final-round 71 left him at 7 under for the tournament and pushed him to No. 124. He came in at No. 128.
''Every little point helps, every little dollar helps,'' Slocum said.
Jason Dufner could have taken over the top spot on the points list with a victory, but he finished five strokes back and wound up at No. 2 to Tiger Woods. He came in at No. 3, the highest-ranked player in the standing.
Rain forces Monday finish
It's been four years since Sergio Garcia's last PGA Tour victory. He'll have to wait one more day before he can try to finish this one off.
And a downpour at the Wyndham Championship meant another day of uncertainty for others on the playoff bubble.
Garcia had the lead at 15 under through four holes Sunday when the final round in the last event before the FedEx Cup playoffs was suspended for the day because of heavy rain.
Tim Clark, Jason Dufner and Bud Cauley were 14 under through varying stages of their rounds, and 38 players - half the field - were still on the course when play was stopped.
After waiting roughly 2 hours, 20 minutes, officials decided to bring them back to Sedgefield Country Club at 9 a.m. Monday to crown a champion and figure out who qualifies for the playoffs and who doesn't. It will be the first Monday finish in Greensboro since 1983.
Tour officials said more than 2 inches of rain fell on the course since Saturday night and Mark Russell, the tour's vice president of rules and competition, said the 15th hole became ''unplayable.''
The stoppage came at 3:10 p.m. when the showers picked up, and it was expected to be only a brief delay, with the players initially staying on the course. Officials reversed that decision and brought them in a short while later.
Then, when the initially announced restart time of 5 p.m. was pushed back twice - first to 5:30 p.m., then 6 p.m. - it made it virtually impossible for the final pairing to finish 14 holes in the roughly 2 hours of remaining daylight and guaranteed a Monday finish.
The decision to suspend things was announced at 5:28 p.m.
''It started raining and just wouldn't stop. The golf course got to the point where it was saturated,'' Russell said. ''We got to a point where we knew we couldn't finish ... so we made a decision that we would let it drain tonight, come back in the morning and be in position to resume play at 9 o'clock.''
Clark, who started the day a stroke behind Garcia after letting a few birdie chances get away late in the third round, birdied two of his first four holes to match Garcia at 15 under. A bogey on the par-5 fifth - the most frequently eagled hole on the course - dropped him back a stroke, and he was in the fairway on No. 6 when the rain delay came.
''Obviously, we'd all like to continue playing,'' Clark said. ''You get into a rhythm out there, and you'd like to keep going. But it's going to be the same for all of us. It's just a tough situation.''
Garcia began the day at 14 under and had three pars and a birdie on the par-3 third. He was preparing for a 40-yard chip when play stopped.
Garcia, who hasn't won on tour since the 2008 Players Championship, also wants a spot on the European Ryder Cup team. The 10 automatic qualifiers will be set following the Johnny Walker Invitational, with Jose Maria Olazabal making two captain's picks.
Garcia certainly made a case for inclusion with his play this week, following his second-round 63 - his lowest round on tour in a decade - with a 66 that gave him a one-stroke lead entering the final round.
While Garcia continued his chase for that spot, other players were trying to secure a spot in the playoffs that begin later this week. The top 125 on the points list qualify for The Barclays at Bethpage Black.
Heath Slocum, who arrived at No. 128, was at 11 under through 13 holes and was at No. 120 on the projected standings.
Every stroke was critical for Y.E. Yang, who came to Greensboro at No. 129 and needed a strong final round to push his way into the postseason. He finished at 6 under following a third straight 69 and was projected to miss the playoffs at No. 127 when play stopped.
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