Garcia Wins Buick Classic in Playoff

By Sports NetworkJune 13, 2004, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. -- Sergio Garcia birdied the third playoff hole Sunday to win the Buick Classic. Garcia closed with a 4-under 67 to join Padraig Harrington and Rory Sabbatini at 12-under-par 272.
 
That trio returned to the par-5 18th tee at Westchester Country Club for the first playoff hole. All three players two-putted for par at the first extra hole.
 
On the second extra hole, Garcia and Sabbatini again two-putted for par. Harrington however, three-putted from the fringe for bogey and was knocked out of the playoff.
 
For the third playoff hole, it was back to No. 18 for the Spaniard and the South African. Garcia found a fairway bunker off the tee, while Sabbatini's tee ball came to rest in the right rough.
 
After they both played their second shots down the fairway, Garcia dropped his third shot within 7 feet of the cup. Sabbatini knocked his third on the green just outside 20 feet.
 
Sabbatini ran his birdie putt passed the cup before Garcia drained his birdie putt for this fifth PGA Tour title and second at this event. He also won the Bron Nelson this year in a playoff.
 
Vijay Singh closed with a 1-under 70 to end in a tie for fourth, his sixth top-5 and ninth top-10 finish of the season. He was joined at 10-under-par 274 by Tom Byrum and second-round leader Fred Couples.
 
Garcia began the day at 8 under and fell off the pace with back-to-back bogeys from the par-4 second. He fought back around the turn.
 
'I did start a bit slow both days, although I felt like I was hitting good shots,' said Garcia, who earned $945,000 for the win. 'I felt like the game was there. I felt like if I was patient and I just kept playing my game, I felt like I could make some birdies because I've done well on this course.'
 
The Spaniard climbed back to even par for his round with consecutive birdies from the seventh. Garcia kept his hot streak going with birdies at the ninth and 10th to cap a run of four straight birdies that got him to 10 under par.
 
'I was lucky enough to get on a run there, birdieing Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10, and then unfortunately I three-putted 12, but some of those holes were playing quite tough,' Garcia said. 'I was expecting to make a couple bogeys here and there, but I knew that I could give myself some good chances at birdies.'
 
Garcia three-putted for his third bogey of the day at the par-4 12th. However, he came right back to birdie the next. He turned it on down the stretch as well. He birdied the 16th and 18th to get into the clubhouse first at 12 under.
 
'I felt like it's a course that I can see what I want to do off the tee on pretty much every hole,' said Garcia, who also won here in 2001. 'I like the shots to the green, and I've always enjoyed those tournaments where you don't feel like you're going to birdie every hole. So I think that's probably one of the reasons why I've been fortunate enough to do well here.'
 
Harrington birdied the third to get to 10 under. He then wrapped bogeys at the fourth and sixth around an eagle on No. 5. The Irishman birdied the seventh and 10th to get to 12 under. On his way to the clubhouse, he dropped a shot at the 13th, but closed with a solid birdie at the 18th to join the playoff.
 
'Obviously it is a disappointing end,' said Harrington, whose only win in the United States came at the 2002 Target World Challenge, an unofficial event. 'After I got into the playoff I had a good chance on 18 to win the playoff. I hit a good putt, had a very good chance running down to the hole, it just straightened out a little bit at the hole and just missed on the high side. It was a pity. Then on the 17th hole, I probably got a little bit overconfident with my birdie chance. I got a bit aggressive and knocked it 8 feet by.'
 
Sabbatini, playing in the final group, started at 11 under par and spread two bogeys and two birdies over his opening nine holes. He then birdied the 11th, but faltered to a double bogey at the 12th. He birdied the 15th and 18th to join Harrington and Garcia at minus-12.
 
'Obviously I was paying attention to the leaderboards,' said Sabbatini. 'I saw that at one point I was two behind and I really decided to pick up the pace again. It's not exactly a golf course where you can go out there and say 'I'm going to birdie this hole, it's an easy hole', because any hole out there can bite you. It really just came down to knowing that people are going to make mistakes and trying to limit mine.'
 
Luke Donald finished in seventh at 9-under-par 275, while Fredrik Jacobson ended one stroke further back at minus-8.
 
Cameron Beckman, Tim Clark, Kenny Perry, Chris DiMarco and Bo Van Pelt shared ninth place at 7-under-par 277. Third-round leader Loren Roberts struggled to a 7-over 78 and finished in a tie for 16th at minus-5.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.