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PGA Tour Article
EDS Byron Nelson Championship

Sergio Garcia Triumphs in Texas


Sergio Garcia with Byron Nelson.
Photo - Getty images

24 year-old Spaniard, Sergio Garcia picked up his fourth PGA Tour title on Sunday when he made par on the first hole of a sudden death playoff against Robert Damron and Dudley Hart at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. It has been over two years since his last Tour victory, which came in January 2002 at the Mercedes Championship. He went on to finish in the top ten at all four majors that year and has won three overseas tournaments in the mean time despite making major changes to his swing.
Garcia started the final day with a two shot lead and retained at least a share of the lead all day despite being the only player to finish in the top ten to shoot over par. His round of 71, one over par for the TPC at Four Seasons Resort course, included birdies at the 1st and 7th holes which he wiped out with bogeys at the 2nd and 8th and a final bogey on the 15th to give him a 10 under par total of 270 and a place in the playoff.
Robert Damron came from 5 shots behind with a final round of 66 to take the clubhouse lead on 270. His round included two birdies on the front nine and an eagle-2 from the 15th fairway. This was his second playoff at the Nelson having won in 2001 on the fourth extra hole against Scott Verplank.


Robert Damron (Getty Images)


Dudley Hart (Getty Images)

Dudley Hart earned his place in the playoff by putting together a late run of birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes to complete a round of 67 and join Damron at the practice range on 270. When the playoff got under way, Damron split the fairway, Hart found the rough and Garcia hit it long and finished in the first cut on the left. Hart's second shot went through the green, then his chip came up short of the putting surface and he ended up with double bogey.
Damron found the green in two but was a long way from the flag and left himself with a four footer to make par. Having made virtually the same putt when playing the 18th an hour earlier he didn't bother to read the line again and pushed the ball past the hole ending up with bogey. Garcia played the sudden death hole perfectly, putting each shot closer to the pin than his opponents and keeping the pressure off himself. After Damron missed his putt, all Garcia needed to do was hole his short par putt for a well-earned victory.
Tiger Woods was in contention all week but left it too late on the final day to make his challenge and despite holing a long birdie putt in the short 17th, missed the playoff by one shot for the second consecutive week. His closing round of 69 gave him a total of 271 and he had to settle for a share of 4th place with Tim Herron (64) and Duffy Waldorf (68).


Tiger Woods  (Getty Images)

 

 

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