Sergio Garcia defeated Brooks Koepka at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson for a second time, having triumphed in the event back in 2004.
Sergio Garcia came into the final round trailing Brooks Koepka by three, but the American stumbled on the back nine on Sunday, dropping shots at the 14th and 15th holes and closing with a one-over-par 71.
Despite finding the water twice on his back nine, Garcia was able to close the gap and tie Koepka at the top with a birdie at the 16th.
Both men had chances to win the tournament outright but Garcia missed from around 12 feet on both the 17th and 18th greens and Koepka missed a birdie chance of his own on the home hole.
Koepka and Garcia tied on 15-under-par and returned to the 18th tee to settle the event in extra holes. When Koepka drove into the water, the tournament was effectively over. Garcia played the hole in regulation and when Koepka failed to find the green with his third, the Spaniard was left to make a simple par and claim the title.
Matt Kuchar finished up one shot shy of the playoff in third place and no fewer than six players were tied for fourth – Americans Bud Cauley, Robert Garrigus, Charles Howell III, Colt Knost and Spencer Levin and Tim Wilkinson of New Zealand.
3 Talking points from the AT&T Byron Nelson
1 – It’s great to see Sergio Garcia back to winning ways on the PGA Tour. The 36-year-old hadn’t won on the circuit since the Wyndham Championship of 2012. With nine wins on the Tour, Garcia has tied Seve Ballesteros for most PGA Tour victories by a Spanish player. After the win an emotional Sergio Garcia shared a conversation with Byron Nelson’s widow Peggy which left Sergio in tears.
“It’s been a very emotional week and obviously Peggy finished it off by making me cry, which I didn’t think I was going to do,” he said. “To be up there with Seve, it means the world to me.”
2 – Brooks Koepka did extremely well to make the playoff. Clearly struggling with his game, he missed six of seven fairways and a stretch of five greens on the back nine. He then found the water from the tee in the playoff.
“I had no idea where the wedges were going,” Koepka said. “We’re pulling and pushing wedges 40 yards. I was backing out of it. I never felt like I really had a chance to go at a flag … “I had no idea where the ball was going, to be honest.”
3 – World Number two Jordan Spieth also struggled on Sunday. The hometown favourite was in second place through 54 holes but carded a closing 74 to tumble down the leaderboard. He made a series of mistakes through the final round and was unable to save himself with the putter. Only two players fired a worse score yesterday.
“Frustration with today,” he said. “You don’t go from the final group in second place alone and finish in 18th and there’s not many positives you’ll be able to take out… that’s just how golf is sometimes.”
Jordan Spieth putting drill:
AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas
Purse $7,300,000, par 70
1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 63 66 68 68 265 $1,314,000
2 Brooks Koepka (USA) 65 64 65 71 265 $788,400
3 Matt Kuchar (USA) 65 67 65 69 266 $496,400
T4 Bud Cauley (USA) 64 65 68 70 267 $264,625
T4 Robert Garrigus (USA) 65 70 66 66 267 $264,625
T4 Charles Howell III (USA) 65 70 66 66 267 $264,625
T4 Colt Knost (USA) 70 63 69 65 267 $264,625
T4 Spencer Levin (USA) 68 66 67 66 267 $264,625
T4 Tim Wilkinson (NZ) 67 69 63 68 267 $264,625
T10 Justin Hicks (USA) 70 65 68 65 268 $189,800
T10 Kyle Reifers (USA) 68 65 65 70 268 $189,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage