'I pulled it through,' said Garcia. 'I felt like I hit a lot of shots the way I wanted. I was trying to play aggressive and smart at the same time.'
Garcia took the 54-hole lead with a brilliant 65 Saturday at the TPC at Four Seasons. He battled with the wind and the course during the final round to fall back into a share of first after regulation at 10-under-par 270 along with Robert Damron and Dudley Hart.
The trio returned to the treacherous 18th tee to begin the extra session and Hart made things difficult for himself after his drive found the left rough. Damron followed and split the fairway while Garcia sent his drive to the left side.
Damron knocked his second to the front half of the green some 40 feet from the hole. Hart then launched his approach from the rough over the green and eliminated himself with a poor chip from behind the putting surface.
Garcia hit a hesitant second shot that rolled within 30 feet of the hole. Damron's birdie try rolled 5 feet past the hole while Garcia's putt came within a few feet of the cup.
Damron, who won this event in a playoff in 2001, quickly attempted his par putt but missed in his rush. Garcia took full advantage and tapped in for his first victory on the PGA Tour since the 2002 Mercedes Championships.
Garcia took control of the tournament with some excellent ball striking on Saturday. Sunday was a different story, however.
'It was a difficult day out there,' said Garcia. 'The wind was very tricky. It was all over the place.'
He jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the opening hole but gave that shot back with a bogey at the next.
Garcia was on in two at the par-5 seventh and walked away with birdie only to falter again with a bogey at the eighth after he missed the fairway off the tee.
At the par-4 15th, Garcia hit another poor drive and after he advanced the ball, Garcia played his third to 22 feet.
The Spaniard failed to save par to fall back into the logjam at minus-10. Garcia then parred his way in to secure a spot in the playoff after a round of 71.
Damron took the most exciting path to the extra session with a tremendous shot at the 15th.
The 31-year-old holed out from the fairway for an eagle with a 7-iron to move to 10 under en route to a round of 66.
Hart mixed a pair of birdies with a couple of bogeys on the front side but put pressure on the leaders with a birdies at the 14th and the 16th.
At the par-3 17th, Hart knocked his tee shot to 35 feet and drained the putt to earn a place in the playoff.
Tiger Woods missed a playoff by a single stroke for the second straight week but the top player in the game made a push down the stretch.
Woods remained erratic off the tee, missing virtually every fairway. His roller-coaster round seemed to right itself on the closing holes, however, including a lengthy birdie putt at the 17th that moved him to minus-9.
Woods hit another bad drive at the 18th and could do no better than par to share fourth place with Tim Herron (64) and Duffy Waldorf (68) at 9-under-par 271.
'A little bit disappointed because obviously I didn't play well, and I had a chance, even as poorly as I played,' said Woods, who carded a 69 in the third round. 'Just one of those things where I needed to try to keep it going, give myself looks at putts.'
Ernie Els, Nick Price, Stephen Leaney and Shigeki Maruyama finished one shot further back at 8-under-par 272.