By Jay Betsill
Sergio Garcia has seen a lot of “firsts” between the two PGA Tour events in North Texas. He played his first PGA Tour event as a 19 year-old at the 1999 Byron Nelson and he won his first PGA Tour event at the 2001 Colonial. To even things out, he would add a Nelson title in 2004 and on Sunday, he won his first PGA Tour event since 2012 by coming from behind to top Brooks Koepka in a playoff to capture the 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas.
The 36-year-old Spaniard overcame four bogeys and two balls in the water on the back nine to fire a final round 68 and reach 15-under. Koepka, who bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes, narrowly missed a birdie putt on No. 18 to send the Nelson to the playoff that Garcia would win on the first extra hole.
“I just said thanks for everything, that it was great to see her again,” Garcia said, talking about his visit with the late Byron Nelson’s widow, Peggy Nelson after coming off No. 18. “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.”
For his efforts this weekend in Las Colinas, Garcia received a check for $1.314 million.
Dallas native and No. 2 ranked player in the world Jordan Spieth had two bogeys in his first five holes in the final round and would grind to shoot 74. He finished in a tie for 18th place at 10-under.
“Just didn’t really get anything going and kind of stinks, given I had a chance here at a hometown event,” Spieth said. “I didn’t really feel as much pressure as I thought I would. Starting out, you feel it and I guess maybe I didn’t feel it because I dropped out of contention. Even in the middle of the front nine, it was as if I was playing on a Thursday.”
Notables in the Nelson field included Matt Kucahr (3, -14), Dustin Johnson (T12, -11), Danny Lee (T18, -10), Jimmy Walker (T24, -9) and Jason Dufner (T24, -9). Among those missing the 36-hole cut were Bryson DeChambeau, David Toms, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Palmer, Ian Poulter, Keegan Bradley, Louis Oosthuizen and Ernie Els.
Next up, the PGA Tour ventures 30 miles to the west for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Big names in the field include Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh, Steve Sticker, Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel.
— Rory McIlroy won his hometown event, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at The K Club. It was the first time he has won the event that he hosts every year. Read about it at ESPN.com
— Bernhard Langer won the Regions Tradition for his sixth major on the Champions Tour and 27th PGA Tour Champions title. Langer could become the first player to win all five of the current senior majors if he wins the Senior PGA Championship next week. Details at golfchannel.com
— Phil Mickelson has been named as a “relief defendant” in a federal lawsuit accusing two other individuals of insider trading. Read about it at reuters.com
— The LPGA was at Kingsmill this weekend. See the top 5 shots at LPGA.com
— Former Big Break contestant Richy Werenski won the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation for his first Web.com Tour victory. Details at pgatour.com