Garcia joins Ballesteros on nine PGA Tour victories

Sun May 22, 2016 7:43pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Sergio Garcia displayed shades of Seve Ballesteros on his way to victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas on Sunday, matching his late countryman for most career wins by a Spaniard on the PGA Tour.

Garcia overcame some poor swings to collect his ninth tour victory, beating American Brooks Koepka in a playoff at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving.

"I won a bit a la Seve today. I definitely wasn't really on," Garcia said in a greenside interview after finding two water hazards in the final round but still coming through to win.

"It means so much (to match Ballesteros). I played really well the last five holes, including the playoff, but other than that I was battling with my swing a little bit, playing hard and chipping great, and made some great putts."

Garcia carded a closing 68, while Koepka shot 71. They finished at 15-under 265, one stroke ahead of American Matt Kuchar.

Garcia won with a par at the first extra hole after Koepka yanked his drive into a water hazard.

"I had no idea where the ball was going (the final two rounds) and you can’t play out here when you’re hitting it in the rough," said a disappointed Koepka.

It is Garcia's first victory on the PGA Tour since 2008, though the 36-year-old has continued to pile up victories outside the U.S.

Garcia's win is a big boost to his hopes of making the European team for this year's Ryder Cup, where he hopes to carry on Ballesteros' legacy.   Continued...

May 21, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Sergio Garcia tees off on the 13th hole during the third round of the 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament at TPC Four Seasons Resort - Las Colinas. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports