Skip to main content

Garcia sees off the rain to secure a Ryder Cup berth

updated 6:06 AM EDT, Tue August 21, 2012
Sergio Garcia takes hold of the Sam Snead Cup following his first win at a PGA Tour event since 2008.
Sergio Garcia takes hold of the Sam Snead Cup following his first win at a PGA Tour event since 2008.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish golfer is guaranteed a place in the European team to play at Medinah, Illinois
  • The 2008 Players Championship was the last time Garcia had won in the US before today
  • South African Tim Clark shared the lead at one stage but finished two shots behind
  • Rain forced an extra day's play for 38 golfers at final round of the Wyndham Championship

(CNN) -- Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia captured his first U.S. PGA Tour title in four years on Monday, earning himself a place in Europe's team for next month's Ryder Cup.

He overcame a rain delay which put a halt to Sunday's play to win the Wyndham Championship, beating South African Tim Clark by two strokes in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A victory was essential to push the 32-year-old into the top-10 ranked European players who automatically qualify for the team to face the United States. He now stands in sixth place and cannot be pushed out of those spots.

Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Peter Hanson were already in the team to travel to Medinah at the end of September.

European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal also has two wildcard picks for the tournament, with Ian Poulter expected to take one of those places.

Olazabal ready to lead Ryder Cup team
Rory McIlroy kisses his prize after winning the 94th PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina on Sunday, August 12. See how the action unfolded here. Rory McIlroy kisses his prize after winning the 94th PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina on Sunday, August 12. See how the action unfolded here.
2012 PGA Championship: The best photos
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
2012 PGA Championship: The best photos 2012 PGA Championship: The best photos
Ernie Els of South Africa celebrates with the Claret Jug after his victory during the final round of play at the British Open at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England on Sunday, July 22. See all the action as it unfolds here. Ernie Els of South Africa celebrates with the Claret Jug after his victory during the final round of play at the British Open at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England on Sunday, July 22. See all the action as it unfolds here.
British Open 2012: The best photos
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
British Open 2012: The best photos British Open 2012: The best photos
Webb Simpson of the United States holds the U.S. Open trophy after his one-stroke victory in San Francisco on Sunday, June 17. Simpson finished the four-day event at one shot over par to secure his first major title. Webb Simpson of the United States holds the U.S. Open trophy after his one-stroke victory in San Francisco on Sunday, June 17. Simpson finished the four-day event at one shot over par to secure his first major title.
U.S. Open: The best photos
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
U.S. Open: The best photos U.S. Open: The best photos

"We'll see when the team comes out, but I think my chances are a little better now," Garcia said.

Garcia was one of 38 players who had to return to the course to complete their final round on Monday.

He had a less than solid restart when a bogey dropped him into a tie with Clark, who was cheered on by a partisan local crowd who supported him because he once attended the local university.

But Garcia came back in style. He birdied four holes out of five to put some space between him and the field.

At the 13th hole it looked like he was on course for the victory. A chip to within a foot of the hole left him an easy put for another birdie.

An impressive bunker shot got him out of trouble and kept him on track for the win at the 15th.

Not even a bogey on the 18th could spoil the celebrations, even though it meant he had slipped a shot to card a final-round 66 for an 18-under-par total of 262.

Clark finished one shot clear of Bud Cauley in third, while there was a three-way tie for fourth between Americans Chad Campbell and Jimmy Walker and Sweden's Carl Petterson on 14 under.

Garcia's victory was his first on U.S. soil since he won the 2008 Players Championship, and eighth overall.

It also helped bury some ghosts of his previous visit to the Wyndham Championship in 2009, when he held a share of the third-round lead but eventually finished fourth.

It doubled his prize money this season on the PGA Tour to $1.8 million from 13 starts, and lifted him up 69 places to 33rd in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of this week's opening playoff event, The Barclays.

Clark also continued his climb, up to 54th from 109. The top 30 players qualify for the Tour Championship finale.

Jason Dufner finished the regular season second behind Tiger Woods after his seventh-placing at Greensboro, with PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy third.

Garcia used a local caddy after parting with his usual bagman after this month's PGA Championship, where he missed the cut.

"Caddies are great, but sometimes I feel like I depend too much on them," Garcia said. "Instead of making a decision myself, I would wait for the caddy to make a decision for me and then maybe I don't feel comfortable with that and still try to do it.

"I wanted to start making decisions for myself, right and wrong. Not all my decisions were good this week. But at least I was pretty much 100% committed to most of my decisions, and that was nice to see."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT