FARMINGTON, N.Y – It hasn’t been a great season for Nick Watney after his three-shot victory at The Barclays he now has a chance at the richest prize in golf.
Watney turned a two-shot deficit against Sergio Garcia into a three-shot lead in four holes around the turn at Bethpage State Park Black Course, and then hung on to close with a 2-under 69 and capture a victory in the FedExCup Playoffs’ opener.
Watney won by three over Brandt Snedeker.
Watney is assured a shot at the $10 million prize at the Tour Championship next month.Winning against one of the strongest fields of the year also puts him in the conversation as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.
Davis Love III will select four players after next week’s tournament outside Boston.
Garcia shot 75 and tied for third.
Final-round Leaderboard: Nick Watney 65-69-71-69—274 (-10); Brandt Snedeker 70-69-68-70—277 (-7); Sergio Garcia 66-68-69-75—278 (-6); Dustin Johnson 67-71-72-68—278 (-6).
- Watney’s fifth PGA Tour victory comes at the age of 31 years, 4 months and 1 day in his 214th career start.
- His PGA victories are: 2007 Zurich Classic of New Orleans; 2009 Buick Invitational; 2011 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, AT&T National; 2012 The Barclays.
- Watney collects 2,500 points and moves from No. 49 to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, with 3,225 points. He leads Brandt Snedeker by 532 points.
- Watney moves into the top 10 in FedExCup points for the first time this season. He finished the 2011 FedExCup ranked No. 9 after starting the Playoffs ranked No. 1.
- Of Watney’s five victories, three have been in come-from-behind fashion. He entered the final round on Sunday trailing Sergio Garcia by two strokes. He overcame a five-shot deficit at the 2009 Farmers Insurance Open and a two-stroke deficit at the 2011 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
- Watney was ranked No. 1 in the FedExCup standings after the Tour Regular Season last year and finished ninth, his best showing since the FedExCup began in 2007. He posted a T10 finish in The Barclays 2011, his second top 10 at the event. His best Barclays performance was a T6 in 2009.
- Watney missed the cut at the 2009 U.S. Open held at Bethpage Black (73-73).
- One year removed from winning twice and posting ten top 10s, Watney entered The Barclays with just three top 10s and a season-best solo 8th at the Wells Fargo Championship.
- Wins in his eighth start at The Barclays, with three top-10 finishes (T6 – 2009, T10 – 2011, 1 – 2012). Watney has missed just one cut (2005) at the event.
- Is the 17th player in his 30s to win this season, recording the 21st win by that group.
- The runner-up finish for Brandt Snedeker is the third of his career, with his last coming at the 2010 Farmers Insurance Open. He owns three Tour victories. Snedeker moves from No. 19 to No. 2 in the FedExCup.
- With his runner-up finish on Sunday, Brandt Snedeker has finished inside the top five in four of his last seven Playoffs events. The others came at the 2011 Deutsch Bank Championship (T3), The Barclays 2011 (T3) and the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship (T5).
- Just one week after winning the Wyndham Championship, Garcia carried a two-stroke lead into the final round of The Barclays but a final-round 4-over 75 left him four strokes behind champion Nick Watney.
- Gracia was seeking to become the first player to win back-to-back PGA Tour events since Tiger Woods in 2009 (Buick Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational).
- With the T3 finish, Garcia jumps from No. 33 to No. 10 in the FedExCup standings. He fell as far as No. 108 in the standings this season and entered the Wyndham Championship at No. 102. His career-best position in the standings was No. 2 following a P2 at The Barclays in 2008.
- Garcia was seeking to pull within one win of tying Vijay Singh for the most victories at The Barclays: Singh (4); Garcia, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els (2).
- Garcia has six top-5 finishes in 12 starts at The Barclays. Along with his two wins (2001, 2004), he finished T2 in 2008, 3rd in 2000, T3 in 2012 and T4 in 2003. His six top 5s trail only Vijay Singh and Ernie Els (7) at The Barclays.
- The 32-year-old Spaniard is looking to reach the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola for the first time since 2008, when he suffered playoff defeats at two of the four PGA TOUR Playoff events (The Barclays to Vijay Singh and the Tour Championship to Camilo Villegas).
- Garcia’s T3 finish is his third top-10 finish at Bethpage State Park: The Black Course (2012 The Barclays – T3; 2002 U.S. Open – 4th; 2009 U.S. Open – T10).
Playoffs for the FedExCup
- The Barclays serves as the kickoff to the FedExCup Playoffs.
- The top-125 players on the final Regular Season FedExCup points list (following the Wyndham Championship) qualified for The Barclays.
- The top 100 on the points list following The Barclays qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship next week.
- The top-70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship advance to the BMW Championship, contested at Crooked Stick GC in Indianapolis, Ind., for the first time.
- The top-30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the Tour Championship. Prior to the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, a points reset will take place, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title. The top-five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake.
- Any player in the field at The Barclays can mathematically move inside the top five in the points standings with a runner-up finish or victory.
- In 2011, seven players began the FedExCup Playoffs ranked outside of the top 30 and played their way into the field at the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola.
- Players on various FedExCup bubbles: 30. Kyle Stanley 1,177; 70. Brian Davis 728; 100. Martin Flores 556
- In the 45-year history of The Barclays, the third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 24 times (most recently Steve Stricker in 2007). Other than Since Stricker’s win in 2007, winners of The Barclays have come back from 54-hole deficits of one in 2008 (Vijay Singh), four in 2009 (Heath Slocum), five in 2010 (Matt Kuchar) and two in 2012 (Watney). In the rain-shortened 2011 event, Dustin Johnson entered the final round one stroke behind Matt Kuchar.
- The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 13 of 37 stroke-play events in 2012, most recently Sergio Garcia last week at the Wyndham Championship.
- Tiger Woods’ 76 in the final round of The Barclays ties for his second-highest score when entering the final round T10 or better (he was T10 after 54 holes this week). In 2007 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, Woods was T10 after 54 holes and shot 76 to finish T22. At the 1998 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods was T2 after 54 holes and shot 77 to finish T13.
- Woods, the Tour’s only three-time winner this season, has now posted an over-par final round six times in 12 tries this season. He finished T38 this week in his seventh start at The Barclays (best finish was T2 in 2009).Since missing the cut in his first start at The Barclays in 2008, Dustin Johnson has finished T15 in 2009, T9 in 2010, 1st in 2011 and T3 in 2012.
- Participating in the Tour Playoffs for the first time, Lee Westwood finished T5 at The Barclays to move from No. 51 to No. 27 in the FedExCup standings.
- William McGirt seems to be back on track. After finishing T5 at the True South Classic and T2 at the RBC Canadian Open, he then missed the cut at the PGA Championship and the Wyndham Championship. Despite a 3-over 74 during the second round this week, he rallied to finish T10. He is now No. 46 in the FedExCup.
- Graham DeLaet played his final four holes in 4-under (eagle-par-birdie-birdie) en route to a 6-under 65 to advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship. Starting the week No. 106, his finish propelled him to No. 44.
- Kevin Stadler finished T10 in his bid to become the ninth player to make The Barclays their maiden victory on the PGA Tour and first since Jonathan Kaye in 2003. Prior to this week, Stadler advanced to the Deutsche Bank Championship on one previous occasion in 2009, when he finished No. 95 in the FedExCup standings. He will enter TPC Boston ranked No. 43 in the standings.
- Garcia, Woods and Phil Mickelson are the only players to finish in the top 10 in both the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course.
- For the first time since 2009, all four major championship winners are competing in the FedExCup Playoffs: Bubba Watson (ranked seventh in the FedExCup); Webb Simpson (20th); Ernie Els (18th); and Rory McIlroy (4th).