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 Greensboro with his first PGA Tour win in four years.
Garcia claimed a two-stroke win Monday in the water-logged Wyndham Championship for his first victory on tour since the 2008 Players Championship.
He finished with a 66 to wind up at 18-under 262, claim $936,000 in prize money and maybe seal a spot on the European Ryder Cup team.
“I think there were a lot of things going on. It shows a lot to me,” Garcia said. “Hopefully, this will secure my spot on the Ryder Cup team, and winning is always nice.”
Tim Clark was at 16 under following his 67 in the final tour event before the playoffs, and Bud Cauley finished 15 under after his 68.
Garcia led both after the third round and when the fourth round was suspended overnight because of a rain.
Garcia began the decisive surge to his eighth career PGA Tour victory on the par-4 No. 13, plopping his chip roughly a foot from the hole and tapping in for birdie.
He added a birdie on No. 15 — a pretty chip to 5 feet from a greenside bunker — and followed with a birdie on the par-3 16th after his tee shot stopped inside 2 feet from the hole. 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, who in his last appearance in Greensboro in 2009 held a share of the lead after three rounds and was up by three strokes midway through the round, but let it slip away.
Garcia finished fourth that year while Puyallup’s Ryan Moore won in a playoff for his only PGA Tour victory.
Yet Garcia didn’t necessarily return thinking the Donald Ross-designed 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 Johnnie Walker Invitational this week in Scotland 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 quests by players on both sides for Ryder Cup selections, much of the focus — as it always is at the tour’s annual late-season stop in central North Carolina — was on the chase to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Moore tied for 37th ($21,230 payout), and Tacoma’s Troy Kelly placed 63rd ($11,128).
The Barclays this week at Bethpage Black in suburban New York kicks off the playoffs with the top 125 players in the field.
Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley is 22nd in points, Moore is 64th and Kelly is 118th.
OREGON PRO HOT
Brandon Kearney, the assistant professional at Bend (Ore.) Golf and Country Club, tied the course record at Wine Valley Golf Club by firing a 9-under-par 63 to grab a five-stroke lead after the first round of the Northwest Open in Walla Walla.
Eight others, including Meridian Valley’s Greg Manley, shared second at 68.
In the PNGA Men’s Amateur earlier this year, Bainbridge Island’s Carl Jonson’s 63 to set the course mark.