Friday, December 15, 2017
Golf

Sergio Garcia wins Byron Nelson on first hole of playoff

IRVING, Texas — Sergio Garcia shot 62 the first round he played at the Byron Nelson and tied for third as a 19-year-old kid in 1999. He won there five years later, again with Lord Byron watching.

With another win at the Nelson, Garcia he would match Seve Ballesteros for the most PGA Tour victories by a Spanish-born player.

Garcia made par on the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Brooks Koepka for his ninth PGA victory. He then touched the likeness of Nelson that tops the championship trophy and wiped away tears while sharing a moment with Peggy Nelson, the golfer's widow.

"I just said thanks for everything, that it was great to see her again," Garcia said. "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."

Garcia, 36, overcame four bogeys and two balls in the water on the back nine for 2-under 68 to get to 15-under 265. He was two groups ahead of the final pairing of hometown favorite Jordan Spieth and Koepka, who bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes and just missed a birdie chance at 18.

"To be up there with Seve, it means the world to me, and I kind of — you can kind of say I went a little bit a la Seve," he said. "I definitely wasn't driving the ball great until the end and a couple of iron shots here and there, but I was chipping and putting great. Some of his wins were like that."

Koepka, who started the day with a two-stroke lead over Spieth, was 17 under after his last birdies of the day, at Nos. 7 and 9. He shot 71.

Spieth had two bogeys in his first five holes and went on to shoot 74. He finished tied for 18th at 10 under.

PGA EUROPE: Rory McIlroy eagled the final hole to clinch his first victory of the season at the Irish Open in Straffan, Ireland, his home tournament where he has struggled over the years. McIlroy, who led after three rounds, shot 3-under 69 to finish at 12-under 276 for a three-shot win over Russell Knox and Bradley Dredge. "To finish like that today, I'll never forget it," McIlroy said.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer ran away with the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala., for his sixth senior major and 27th over-50 title. He finished with 5-under 67 for 17-under 271 and a six-stroke win over Olin Browne.

LPGA: Ariya Jutanugarn shot a nearly mistake-free 4-under 67 to take the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., by one for her second straight win. She finished at 14-under 270. So Oh was second after 65.

U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR FOUR-BALL: Pauline Del Rosario, 17, and Princess Mary Superal, 19, both of the Philippines, shot a two-day 12-under 132 to earn medalist honors at the Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green in Hardee County. Sierra Brooks and Kristen Gillman finished second at 10-under 134.

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