Golf

Garcia holds off Clark to win

2012-08-20 18:36
Sergio Garcia (File)

Johannesburg - Tim Clark signalled his return to form with a second place finish at the Wyndham Championship PGA tour event at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina on Monday.

Clark shot a final round 67 to finish on 16-under 265, two strokes adrift of Spain's Sergio Garcia - as he won his first PGA tour event since 2008.

Clark's performance follows an 11th place finish at the PGA championship, where he was the top South African, as Rory McIlroy was the runaway winner by eight strokes.

The final round on Sunday was suspended, and later postponed to a Monday finish due to heavy rains making the course waterlogged.

Clark was still tied for the lead with Garcia with four holes left to play, before the Spaniard launched a birdie assault coming down the final stretch. Garcia had three birdies in a row from the 15th, which saw him to the title.

Clark began Sunday's round by playing the first four holes in two-under courtesy of typical solid mid-iron approaches.

Before the suspension of play, Clark made a bogey on the par five fifth hole to drop out of a share of the lead at that point.

On the par three seventh hole, in moist conditions from the overnight rains, Clark came up short of the green with his tee shot. Opting to putt instead of chip, he came up well short of the hole and faced a testing par putt to keep the pressure on Garcia. Clark obliged by holeing the putt to save his par.

Clark, 36, used his momentum from the par-save to set up a good look at birdie on the par four eighth hole. From just inside 20 feet he rolled in the putt to join Garcia on 15-under.

Clark then narrowly missed a birdie on the ninth hole, but still went out in two under.

In a bizarre sequence of events on the 10th hole, Clark had 24 feet for birdie, but he rammed his effort to nearly 20 feet past the hole. With the lengthy par putt remaining, Clark showed good temperament as he rolled the ball in to make the par.

Clark again holed a lengthy putt of eight feet for par on the 11th, after missing the putting surface.

The Spaniard pulled ahead with birdie at 11, but at 12, Garcia missed the green and dropped a shot to leave the pair tied with six holes remaining.

The 'Umkomaaster' had struggled with injury for most of the year, but recently began to regain his old form on the premier world golf tour.

In 2012 on the PGA tour coming into the event, Clark had played 15 tournaments making the cut on eight occasions, and languished in 109th in the FedEx Cup coming into the event, but with the result jumps up to a projected 54th in the standings.

Clark's first victory came at the 2010 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the unofficial 'fifth major'.

Final-round scores on Monday in the weather-disrupted US PGA Tour Wyndham Championship (USA unless noted, par-70):

262 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-63-66-66

264 - Tim Clark (RSA) 63-67-67-67

265 - Bud Cauley 66-65-66-68

266 - Chad Campbell 71-64-65-66, Jimmy Walker 66-62-71-67, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 62-68-68-68

267 - Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 67-65-69-66, Bill Haas 68-65-67-67, Jason Dufner 68-67-63-69

268 - John Merrick 66-69-67-66, Troy Matteson 64-68-68-68, Davis Love 67-66-66-69, Harris English 66-64-68-70

269 - Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 68-68-67-66, Scott Stallings 64-70-67-68, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 67-68-66-68, Richard H. Lee 66-69-65-69, Matt Every 65-66-68-70

270 - John Huh 69-65-69-67, Bobby Gates 69-67-65-69, Justin Leonard 68-68-64-70

271 - Chris Kirk 66-69-69-67, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 67-71-66-67, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 67-68-68-68, Graham DeLaet (CAN) 69-67-67-68, Rocco Mediate 70-65-68-68, Webb Simpson 66-63-71-71

272 - Rod Pampling (AUS) 68-66-70-68, Tim Herron 76-61-67-68, Brandt Snedeker 67-67-68-70

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