PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sergio Garcia, the best player without a major, got the next best thing Sunday.
Garcia ended the longest victory drought of his career by making a clutch par putt to force a playoff and hitting the island-green 17th on the first extra hole to defeat Paul Goydos in the Players Championship.
Haunted by putting problems that kept him without a victory the past three years and 53 PGA Tour events, Garcia came up with a 45-foot birdie on the 14th to get back in the game and a 7-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a 1-under 71.
Goydos, playing in the final group, missed a 15-foot par putt on the last hole for the win. He closed with a 74.
It was the first playoff at the Players since 1987, and the first time the PGA Tour opted to start it on the most notorious par 3 in golf. The shot was only 128 yards, but in wind that blasted 30 mph throughout the day, to a green surrounded by water.
Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.