Watney wins The Barclays at Bethpage

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 25, 2012
Nick Watney salvaged a dismal season Sunday at The Barclays with a victory that could not have come at a better time. Watney turned a two-shot deficit against Sergio Garcia into a three-shot lead in a decisive four-hole stretch around the turn at Bethpage Black, and no one got closer than two shots the rest of the way. Watney made a 10-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 2-under 69 to capture the opening playoff event for the FedEx Cup. He wound up winning by three shots over Brandt Snedeker, who birdied the last hole for a 70. Garcia made bogey on the 18th for a 75. The win means Watney goes to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and is assured a shot at the $10 million prize at the Tour Championship next month. Perhaps more importantly, it could be a big step toward an event that doesn't pay anything at all - the Ryder Cup. Winning against one of the strongest fields of the year at least puts him in the conversation to be one of four captain's picks for the Sept. 28-30 matches at Medinah. Davis Love III will announce his choices after next week's playoff event outside Boston. Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk are likely to be two of those picks, and the other two are suddenly wide open. Snedeker, already under consideration, battled to the end on a warm day on Long Island. He made a 15-foot par putt on the 17th hole and closed with a birdie to be alone in second place. Complicating matters for Love is that Dustin Johnson shot 68 and tied for third, along with Garcia. Watney, who won for the fifth time in his career, finished on 10-under 278. In what amounted to a duel with Garcia for so much of the day, Watney fell two shots behind after he three-putted for bogey on the fifth hole and Garcia made a 40-footer for birdie on the next hole. Garcia, going for his second straight PGA Tour win, never had much of a chance after that. Watney two-putted for birdie on the seventh. On the par-3 eighth, Garcia scrambled for bogey from the bunker, while Watney holed a bending, 30-foot birdie putt to take his first lead of the day. Another two-shot swing followed on the 10th, when Garcia three-putted and Watney hit a beautiful approach to 4 feet for birdie. Both were sloppy on the back nine, but Watney hit all the right shots and seized control for good with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 14th. ''I made more putts than I made all year,'' Watney said. He credits that to some tips from Darrell Kestner, the respected club pro at nearby Deepdale, a lesson set up by a friend. Kestner worked on his setup, mainly keeping Watney from leaning to far back on his heels. ''It paid off,'' Watney said. Tiger Woods, six shots behind at the start of the day, never made a move. He alternated between bogeys and birdies until the sixth hole, and his round imploded on the back nine with a three-putt double bogey on the 12th, a poor wedge that led to bogey on the par-5 13th, and a tee shot on the par-3 14th that sailed over the green and one-hopped against the gallery. He closed with a 76 and tied for 38th. Woods left without speaking to CBS Sports or any other media. It was this third 72-hole tournament over par this year, the other two coming at majors. Bethpage Black didn't feel like one on Sunday. After a third round in which several players felt the greens were close to dead and nearly impossible to putt, there was plenty of water on them overnight. High scores were more a product of bad play, and it was difficult for anyone to make up too much ground because conditions were comparable throughout the day. And while it was effectively a two-man race for much of the day, there was plenty at stake in the FedEx Cup. Only the top 100 players advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship for the second of four playoff events. The biggest move belonged to Graham DeLaet of Canada, who started the week at No. 106 and was right on the bubble going into the final round. It turned out way better than DeLaet could have imagined. Despite back-to-back bogeys on the front nine, he answered with four birdies on his next seven holes, and then holed out with on the 15th for eagle with a 9-iron from 161 yards. He closed with two birdies for a Sunday-best 65. Not only did he advance, DeLaet moved up 62 spots to No. 44 and should be safe for the next two tournaments. ''I guess a lot of people think there's too much volatility in it, but it was in my favor,'' DeLaet said. ''If you can have one really good event, you can catapult yourself up. And now I feel I have a chance to get into the Tour Championship, where this morning I was just hoping to play next week.'' It was a good day for another Canadian - David Hearn. Playing with Woods, he closed with a 71 and moved from No. 108 to No. 67. The other four from outside the top 100 who moved in were Jonas Blixt, Tommy Gainey and Jason Day, who closed with a 66. The odd man out was John Mallinger, who started the week at No. 88 and missed the cut. He became the highest-seeded player to fail to advance since this FedEx Cup playoff system began in 2007.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Eagles rookie to join Kaepernick in protesting national anthem

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker