By Paul Myers
Although he has long been one of the best players in the game, Sergio Garcia had not taken home a PGA Tour title in a few years. As the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort moved to a conclusion on Sunday, it didn’t appear that Garcia’s slump would be coming to an end. Brooks Koepka had a relatively short putt to take a three stroke lead with just a few holes to play – but that putt slid past the hole, and Koepka recorded a bogey. He would make another bogey at 15, and finish with three pars to get into the clubhouse at 15 under par. Garcia, on the other hand, played his final four holes in one under, and there was a playoff set to determine the champion.
The playoff didn’t remain dramatic for long. Koepka hit his tee shot on the par four 18th hole into the water, and Garcia split the fairway. With a simple wedge onto the green and a two putt, Garcia had the title and Koepka would be left as the runner up. While this event might be remembered as one that Koepka gave away, credit should be given to Garcia for the way he held together down the stretch. Despite hitting the ball in the water twice during the final round, Garcia still shot a 68 – his fourth straight sub-70 round.
Where Does He Go from Here?
With a title under his belt in 2016, what else might be in store for Sergio Garcia? Long known as one of the very best ball strikers in the world, many would regard Garcia to be the best player without a major title. Could that change this summer? Perhaps. Garcia has been in good form for quite some time, and the confidence gained from this victory may be just what he needs to close the deal. Both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship would seem to be good fits for his ball striking game, especially if the wind were to blow. While players like Day, McIlroy, and Spieth are going to remain the favorites, no one should be surprised if Sergio is able to make his way to the top of the leaderboard in one of the summer’s biggest events.
A Classic Course
Moving forward, the PGA Tour is going to head rom Irving, TX to nearby Fort Worth for the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. This event is held on the classic Colonial Country Club, one of the great courses in the PGA Tour rotation. Chris Kirk is the defending champion of the event, and Jordan Spieth will be looking to rebound from a rough final round at the TPC Four Seasons Resort. Other top players who will be in the field in Fort Worth include Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, and Brandt Snedeker. If the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational plays out anything like the AT&T Byron Nelson, fans will be in for quite a treat.