Sergio Garcia ended his 4 year win-less drought on the PGA Tour this past weekend, coming from behind to defeat Brooks Koepka at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday. Garcia started his final round two spots behind, and three strokes off of the pace, of American Brooks Koepka. The tough course at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas yielded plenty of bogeys throughout the final round, and provided quite an exciting finish to the tournament. Garcia started his roller coaster of a round off with a birdie at the first, then posted bogeys at the second and fourth holes. He salvaged his front nine by posting birdies on his next three holes, and made the turn at a 2-under 33 for the day, but still two strokes off of Koepka’s lead, who posted a 1-under 34.
Although the final nine holes got off to a rough start for Garcia, he was able to card birdies at the par-3 13th and the par-5 16th. He finished the back nine at even-par, good enough for a 2-under 68 for the round and the clubhouse lead at 15-under par. Koepka’s game, on the other hand, was headed in the other direction. He appeared to be in cruise control on the back nine, but stumbled with bogeys on back-to-back holes, the par-4 14th and 15th. Koepka did regain his composure to finish with pars on the remaining three holes, just missing a birdie chance on 18 for the victory, and finishing with a final round 1-over 71, a tie for the clubhouse lead at 15-under with Garcia.
The first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, is where things went terribly wrong for Koepka, and all so right for Garcia. Koepka’s tee shot on the first playoff hole found the water hazard, where Garcia pumped his drive 300+ into the fairway. With Koepka forced to take a drop, he finished with a double-bogey 6. Garcia was left with just a wedge into the green, which he stuck to just inside 20 feet, and was able to two-putt his way to victory.
This marks the second time that Garcia has won the Bryon Nelson, and is his ninth victory on Tour. It was an emotional victory for Garcia, who’s 4 year drought on Tour came skidding to a halt with Sunday’s win, also tied him with fellow Spaniard and golf idol, Seve Ballasteros. Garcia has mentioned many times what an inspiration the late Ballasteros has been throughout his golfing career, and Garcia has now tied him for the most wins on Tour by a Spanish born player. With Sergio still performing at high levels week in and week out, I expect that he will break Seve’s record later this season. Who knows, he might even win his first major as he’s currently set as a 40/1 outsider to win the US Open next month?
Sergio Garcia’s Winning What’s In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 – 9.5° (Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi XTS 80X)
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M1 – 15° and 19° (Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver XTS TiNi 80X)
Irons: TaylorMade PSi Tour – 3-PW (Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130X)
Wedges: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF Tour Grind – 52° (Bent to 50°), 56° (bent to 58°) (Nippon N.S. Pro Modus Tour 130X)
Specs: 52-09 bent to 50 degrees, 56-12 bent to 58 degrees
Putter: TaylorMade Monte Carlo Prototype
Golf Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X
Rory Back on Top, Victorious at Irish Open
In golf headlines on the European Tour this week, Rory Mcilroy was back in the winner’s circle with his three shot victory at the Irish Open, held at the world famous K-Club. McIlroy’s win in his home tournament is his first professional win of the season on any tour. The current World Number Three trailed Scotland’s Russel Knox by one stroke heading with only three holes to play. That’s when Rory turned his game up a notch. He carded a birdie on the par-5 16th, followed by a par at 17, while Knox made bogey at 16. On the par-5 18th, Rory blasted his second shot with a fairway wood inside of ten feet. Rory was able to clean up his eagle putt at 18, and closed out the week with a final round 69 and 12-under par final score.
The best part about the victory? Rory was able to bring in £515,000 with the win, and will be donating every last bit of that money to his charity, The Rory Foundation, which hosted the Irish Open at the K-Club this year. Classy move Rory. The kid seems to be an all around class act, and I love watching him swing a golf club. Rory, we will look for you to put another notch in the win column this year to add to your twenty professional wins that you already have Worldwide.