Archive for Monday, May 17, 2004

Garcia ends drought in playoff

Spaniard claims first PGA victory in two years at Byron Nelson

May 17, 2004


— About the only thing that went according to plan Sunday was Sergio Garcia tapping in for par on the 18th hole to win the Byron Nelson Championship.

Garcia squandered a two-shot lead by closing with a 1-over 71, then survived a sloppy finish by making a par on the first playoff hole as Robert Damron and Dudley Hart self-destructed.

"I pulled it through, and I'm happy," Garcia said after ending a two-year drought on the PGA Tour.

Garcia became the first player in 11 years at the Byron Nelson to win despite failing to break par in the final round, and he could not have guessed that a simple, two-putt par on the 18th would be enough to win the playoff.

Hart, who birdied three of the final five holes in a round of 67, hit into the rough off the tee, missed the green and then duffed a chip. He exited with a double-bogey.

Damron, who won the 2001 Byron Nelson in a playoff, lagged his 50-foot putt within four feet in the playoff, but pulled it to the left.

It was a tough ending for Damron, who got into the playoff by holing a 7-iron from the 15th fairway for eagle and closing with a 66. All three finished at 10-under 270.

Tiger Woods made a late charge with a 69 and finished one shot out of the playoff for the second straight week.

Duffy Waldorf (68) and Tim Herron (64) also finished at 9-under 271.

Garcia, 24, won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour and earned $1.04 million. He also gained 66 world ranking points, moving him to No. 2 in the European standings for the Ryder Cup.

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