Nick Watney's shot landed on the green at No. 18 and the gallery at let out a roar. Moments later Sergio Garcia’s ball touched down in the bunker to the left of the pin and everyone knew it was over.
For the better part of two days the duo battled for first place.
But Watney birdied the par-4 hole to cap a tremendous week of golf at what’s acknowledged as one of the toughest courses anywhere. Watney, 31, conquered the Black course and a stacked field to capture The Barclays Tournament Sunday in Farmingdale.
"To make birdie at the last [hole] was awesome," Watney said. "I couldn't have drew it up any better. I'll definitely remember New York for a long time."
It's the fifth career PGA Tour win for the Las Vegas golfer. Watney, who earns $1.44 million and the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings, finished the round 2-under-par 69 and three strokes ahead of second-place Brandt Snedeker at 10-under for the four-day tournament.
"I'm just very, very happy right now," said Watney, whose last PGA Tour win came July 2011 at the AT&T National. "It's been not quite the year I would have wanted, but this really – you know this really – makes it all forgotten."
Dustin Johnson, who won the 2011 Barclays in New Jersey – a tournament shortened to three rounds by Hurricane Irene – made a hard charge at the lead. He was 7-under heading to No. 17. Then he missed a short putt for bogey and finished 3-under for the day and in a third place tie with Garcia for the tournament.
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Watney took the lead with back-to-back birdies on the front nine, leaving him alone at 10-under when Garcia bogeyed No. 8.
all week, shooting a combined 4-under there.
It didn’t happen Sunday. Watney opened a three-shot lead on the par-4 10th with a birdie to Garcia’s bogey. He never let go of the lead again.
"It was nice to see him do as well as he did," said Garcia, who was looking to become the first player to win back-to-back PGA Tour events since Woods in 2009. "I would have loved to give him a better fight than I did. But you know at the end of the day, I can't really be disappointed with the way the week has been."
So Watney, who entered the tournament ranked 35th in the Official World Golf Ranking, now has a shot at the Tour Championship and is in the conversation as a Ryder Cup selection.
through three rounds. But he faded on Sunday, finishing 5-over 76 on the day and tied for 38th.
The top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass., which runs to Sept. 3.
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