Watney Finds Right Time to Get Hot, Earn First Win of the Year; Putting is the Difference-Maker As Watney Claims The Barclays By Three Shots

Snedeker finishes second; Third-round co-leader, Garcia, ties for third with defending champion Dustin Johnson

Nick Watney's hot putter turned away Sergio Garcia's efforts to earn back-to-back wins. The former Fresno State star earned his first victory of the year and it couldn't have come at a better time. Watney won The Barclays, the first tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs, earned a first place check of $1.44 million and vaulted to the top of the FedExCup Standings.

The 31-year-old Watney posted rounds of 65-69-71-69 for a 10-under-par score of 274 at a very difficult Bethpage State Park Black Course to win by three over Brandt Snedeker, while Garcia, who shot a final-round 75, faltered down the stretch and tied for third with defending champion Dustin Johnson.

Despite four bogeys, Watney recorded six birdies, including a birdie on 18, for his final-round 69 and credits making putts at crucial moments for his fifth career PGA TOUR win. Watney and Garcia battled even through the first six holes and the key swing came on the eighth and 10 holes. While Garcia had bogeys, Watney's drained a 28 foot birdie putt on eight and followed it with another birdie putt from four feet on the 10th for a four-shot swing.

With his win and 2,500 FedExCup Playoff points, Watney now leads the FedExCup standings going into week two of the Playoffs. Snedeker jumped 17 spots to number two in the standings. Garcia jumped up 23 spots in the FedExCup standings and finds himself 10th.

Watney's season-best finish was eighth before The Barclays and he was 55th on the money list before the first week of the Playoffs. He now finds himself 19th on the money list with over $2.5 million in season-earnings.

"It's been not quite the year I would have wanted, but this really makes it all forgotten," said a thrilled Watney. "Winning a tournament is hard, but winning out here and against this field was very, very difficult. I was just trying to stay very in the moment out there. I'm just so excited and very,very proud."

"I hit some good shots, but you know, I hit a couple bad shots at the wrong moments," said Garcia. "Unfortunately I just wasn't feeling comfortable. I struggled a little bit with some of the shots. It's kind of simple as that. It's been two very good weeks. Obviously I would have loved to finish in a different way. But to me, to be able to win last week and put myself in contention here again this week, I had a good shot at winning this tournament on this golf course, which is really, really tough and is testing you all the time. It was good."

"It was just a great test of golf, and more importantly, a great test of how mentally strong you could stay on the course over the last 36 holes," said Snedeker. "You knew you were just going to get some bad breaks, no way around it. Nick obviously played great today. To shoot under par today is a good score."

Fans came to see if Tiger Woods could put on his patented Sunday charge, red shirt and all, but it was not to be.

It wasn't his day from his first tee shot at number one, where he sailed his shot left of the fairway and landing next to the Birdies for the Brave Patriot's Outpost between the first hole and 18th hole. After a drop next to the lemonade stand, Woods finished his first hole with a bogey.

Woods promptly went bogey, birdie, bogey, birdie and bogey for the first five holes and the outcome didn't get any better throughout the day as he had one double bogey, six bogeys and three birdies. He finished five over for the day and one over for the tournament.

All the fanfare coming into the Barclays focused on the early pairing of Woods and PGA Champion Rory McIlroy. McIlroy fared a little bit better than Woods, as he finished one over for the day and one-under for the tournament.

"I think my putting just sort of let me down on the weekend a bit, but I think everyone was finding it tough out there on the greens," said McIlroy. "They are not as smooth as we are used to at times. They were a little firm, they were a little bumpy."

The FedExCup playoffs have certainly been anything but bumpy. They have continued to grow in popularity since their birth six years ago. With the prospect of a $10 million windfall at the end of the four tournament swing, the finest players in the land have certainly caught on as well as golf fans across the country.

"There was a lot of skepticism when it first came out," said Barclay's ambassador Phil Mickelson. "We were not sure how it was going to evolve, but now it's really become a staple of the PGA Tour and something that the players really look forward to and strive for."

With the finishes in The Barclays, the top 100 players will advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Barclays will head to Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. in 2013.