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Garcia Gets First Victory Since 2012


Although it wasn't a PGA or European tour event, Sergio Garcia still was able to make his long-awaited return to the winner's circle in a golf tournament.

The 33-year-old Spaniard closed with a 4-under 68 to edge Henrik Stenson by four strokes and win the Thailand Golf Championship. The Asian Tour event took place at Amata Spring Country Club.

Garcia began the final round with a four-shot lead and maintained that margin through the final round, carding six birdies and two bogeys to finish at 22-under 266. It was his first win since the Wyndham Championship in August 2012.

"It was great, an amazing week," said Garcia, who has four Asian Tour wins in his career. "I'm very, very happy and I can't wait to go back home to Switzerland and kind of sleep on it a little bit.

"I knew Henrik was going to make it difficult for me. He's been playing so amazingly great, and he did. I started well, but he also did. He kept hitting good shot after good shot," added Garcia, who caddie was his girlfriend, Katharina Boehm.

Stenson continued his fine play for another week. The 37-year-old became the first player in history when last season he won the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and the European Tour's Race to Dubai. He came to Thailand ranked No. 3 in the world only behind Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.

"It was a good week. Especially (because) I've had a great year but coming here really on the fumes left in the tank, not too much going for me to perform this week in that sense," said Stenson, who also closed with a 68. "But . . . I was hanging in there and I was just coming up a couple short.

"I needed something really, really good to happen there. I had a couple of chances to get a little bit close around eight and nine but I didn't make those two birdie putts and Sergio was hanging in there, made one or two good saves and then he made three birdies in a row, and then he pulled away, and then really I would need something spectacular to happen the last four or five holes."

Alexander Levy of France shot a 69 to finish eight strokes behind Garcia, while defending champion Charl Schwartzel fired a 67 to tie for fourth at 275 along with Yuki Kono of Japan, U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, and Anirban Lahiri of India.

The top-finishing American was Rickie Fowler, who posted six birdies and four bogeys for a 70 and an 11-under 277 total. The Southern California native shared eighth with Thailand's Chapchai Nirat.

For complete scoring details, visit http://www.asiantour.com/tournaments/54/results/.