Garcia's win boosts his Ryder Cup hopes

WASHINGTON • Spanish star 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 the most career wins by a Spaniard on the PGA Tour with nine titles.

Despite finding two water hazards in the final round, Garcia hung on to beat American Brooks Koepka in a play-off at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving.

It was his first PGA victory since 2008, though the 36-year-old has continued to pile up victories outside America. He said: "I won a bit a la Seve today. I definitely wasn't really on. It means so much (to match Ballesteros).

"I played really well the last five holes, including the play-off, but other than that, I was battling with my swing a little bit, playing hard and chipping great, and made some great putts."

He carded a closing two-under 68, while Koepka shot 71. They finished at 265, one ahead of American Matt Kuchar (69). Garcia won with a par at the first extra hole after Koepka yanked his drive into a water hazard.

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

The win is a big boost to Garcia's hopes of making the European team for this year's Ryder Cup. He has taken part seven times and finished on the winning side on five occasions.

World No. 2 Jordan Spieth had a four-over final-round 74 that left him five off the pace after starting the day in second place.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'Garcia's win boosts his Ryder Cup hopes'. Print Edition | Subscribe