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Garcia angling for Ryder bid
Wyndham win boosts chances
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rainy weather left Sergio Garcia stuck in central North Carolina for an extra day. Turns out, it was worth the hassle — because he’s leaving with his first PGA Tour victory in four years.
He finished with a 66 for 18-under 262, claimed $936,000 in prize money and maybe sealed a spot on the European Ryder Cup team.
Jason Dufner could have taken over the top spot on the points list with a victory, but he finished five strokes back and wound up leapfrogging Rory McIlroy for No. 2 behind Tiger Woods. He came in at No. 3, the highest-ranked player in the field.
He had three straight late-round birdies after a bogey briefly dropped him into a tie for the lead and cruised to his eighth career PGA victory.
Garcia began the decisive surge on the par-4 No. 13, plopping his chip roughly a foot from the flagstick and tapping it in for birdie.
He added another birdie on No. 15 — a pretty chip from a greenside bunker left him with a 5-foot putt — and followed that with another birdie on the par-3 16th after his tee shot stopped closer than 2 feet from the stick. He added a birdie on No. 17 to move to 19 under, leaving his bogey on the final hole inconsequential.
It was a bit of redemption for the 32-year-old Spaniard. In his previous appearance in Greensboro, in 2009, Garcia held a share of the lead after three rounds. He was up by three strokes midway through the round but let it slip away, finishing in fourth place.
Yet he didn’t necessarily come back thinking Donald Ross’ course at Sedgefield Country Club owed him one.
“That year, I was pretty much in control and I lost it myself,” Garcia said. “The course didn’t do anything wrong to me.”
This time, he finished strong to give a huge boost to his Ryder Cup candidacy. The 10 automatic qualifiers will be set following the Johnny Walker Invitational with Jose Maria Olazabal making two captain’s picks.
“We’ll see when the team comes out, but I think my chances are a little better now,” Garcia said.
Nicolas Colsaerts — whose 66 left him at 13 under — wants a spot, too.
“When you play rounds like these and you commit to tournaments and you get yourself in position like this and make the most of it, it just shows how much you want it,” Colsaerts said.
In addition to the quests by players on both sides for Ryder Cup selections, much of the focus was on the chase to make the playoffs, which begin in a few days at the Barclays.
But everything wound up taking a back seat to the weather, as more than 2 inches of rain fell on the Sedgefield course Sunday.
By David A. Clarke Jr.
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