Putting key behind Garcia's victory

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Sergio Garcia carded four scores of 67 or better in a PGA TOUR event for the 1st time.Sergio Garcia claimed his 1st PGA TOUR title since the 2008 PLAYERS Monday at the rain-delayed Wyndham Championship. Garcia had made 70 PGA TOUR starts between victories (he won three times on the European Tour during his U.S. drought).

This was the 1st time Garcia ever carded four scores of 67 or better in a PGA TOUR event. His final total of 18-under par ties his career-best mark in an official PGA TOUR event.

Garcia, who has ranked 119th or worse each of the previous four years on TOUR in ‘Strokes Gained-Putting,’ has been rolling the ball better in 2012 (up to 38th in that statistic). This week though, he was even more improved.

Garcia tied for the second-fewest putts in the field, and didn’t have a single three-putt for the entire week. He made about 92 percent of his putts inside 10 feet, improving on his season average of 87 percent.

Sergio Garcia Putting This Week

Garcia, who led the tournament after 54 holes, staved off a flurry of trends with his victory.

Sergio was just 2-for-7 in his PGA TOUR career converting 54-hole leads into victories, and had failed to win the previous five instances. Before his victory Monday, only 12 of 35 (34.2 percent) PGA TOUR winners in 2012 had held at least a share of the 54-hole lead.

Garcia only made four bogeys all week en route to victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two TOUR winners in 2012 carded fewer scores of bogey or worse: Hunter Mahan at the Shell Houston Open (two) and Scott Stallings at the True South Classic (three).

The Wyndham Championship also marked the last event of the PGA TOUR regular season, with the top 125 on the FedExCup points list qualifying for the playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays.

Heath Slocum (No. 124), who finished tied for 31st, was the only player in the Wyndham field to move into the top 125 after starting the week on the outside looking in. Slocum replaces Jhonattan Vegas, who dropped out of the top 125 after missing the cut by two shots.