Ryder Cup boost for Watney

Nick Watney won The Barclays by three shots to send US captain Davis Love III a timely reminder ahead of the Ryder Cup.

Nick Watney won The Barclays by three shots to send US captain Davis Love III a timely reminder ahead of the Ryder Cup.

Starting two shots behind overnight leader Sergio Garcia, the 31-year-old closed with a two-under-par 69 to finish with a total of 274 – three shots better than that of fellow American Brandt Snedeker.

Garcia, who was hoping to win back-to-back titles on the PGA Tour following his success at the Wyndham Championship last Monday, started the day on top of the leaderboard but finished with a disappointing four-over 75 to tie for third with Dustin Johnson.

Watney, though, could not have asked for a bigger boost ahead of the Ryder Cup against Europe at Medinah, starting at the end of September.

American skipper Love is set to name his 12 on September 4 and Watney, who has dropped to number 35 in the world, may well have played his way into the reckoning for a wildcard.

“I’m just very, very happy right now,” Watney said. “It’s been not quite the year I would have wanted, but this really makes it all forgotten.

“Winning a tournament is hard, but winning out here and against this field was very, very difficult. I’m kind of still on a high right now.”

Garcia started with a bogey on the opening hole and Watney immediately put pressure on the Spaniard by tying for the lead with a second-hole birdie.

There was another two-shot swing a few holes later with the American bogeying at the fifth and Garcia picking up a shot at the sixth, but Watney refused to drop his head and birdied the seventh and the eighth while his rival dropped a shot.

Another birdie at the 10th and a Garcia bogey helped him to open a three-shot lead, but he nearly threw it away with back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12.

However, he wrapped things up with birdies on the 14th and the final hole.

Former world number one Lee Westwood finished in a share of fifth place with Canadian Graham DeLaet, South African Louis Oosthuizen and American Brian Harman.

Luke Donald came in 10th after a one-under 70, a closing 72 from Rory McIlroy saw him tie for 24th Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who started the day joint 10th, tied for 38th after finishing with a final rounds of 76.

Padraig Harrington, who led after a first-round 64 before throwing in back-to-back 75s, finished with a solid 68 for a share of 19th.