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Watney boosts Ryder Cup chances; Woods crumbles

ESPN staff
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Tiger Woods reacts to a missed putt © PA Photos
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Nick Watney put himself in the frame for a Ryder Cup berth after clinching his fifth PGA Tour win with a three-stroke triumph at The Barclays.

Watney overcame a two-shot deficit to give United States captain Davis Love III a timely reminder of his capabilities ahead of next month's biennial showdown at Medinah.

It was not a faultless 18 holes - the American needed 34 swings of the putter - but fabulous iron play was key to him finishing on 10-under, three clear of second-placed Brandt Snedeker at the first of the FedEx Cup play-off events.

Tiger Woods produced an error-strewn final round to end what had been an encouraging week on a low note. The 14-time major winner started the day hoping to challenge for the title, but an inconsistent front nine acted as the prelude to a disastrous run of holes coming in.

Having reached the turn level for the day, Woods' game imploded, with his driving off the tee particularly below par. There was to be no recovery from a double-bogey six at the par-four 12th - two more bogeys immediately following and another dropped shot seeing him sign for a forgettable five-over 76.

Sergio Garcia was unable to make it back-to-back titles (after winning last week's Wyndham Championship to secure his Ryder Cup selection), the overnight leader signing for a 75 to finish in a tie for third on six-under alongside Dustin Johnson.

US PGA champion Rory McIlroy came alive in the middle of his round but his work before and after his purple patch put his brilliant passage of play in the shade. Three bogeys rocked the Ulsterman before back-to-back birdies from the seventh helped restore confidence. More fine play at the 10th brought another birdie and he picked up another shot after four straight pars. However, two bogeys in his last three holes left a bitter taste, with the two-time major champion shooting a 72 to finish the week on one-under.

Ian Poulter, widely expected to receive one of the two captain's picks for the European Ryder Cup team, put his hand up for selection with a 69. The Englishman, who boasts an impressive matchplay record, was solid throughout the day and will be hoping his exploits will have caught the eye of European captain Jose Maria Olazabal ahead of Monday's wildcard announcements.

Luke Donald (70) finished on three-under, while Lee Westwood (70) ended the week five-under. Padraig Harrington, one of those in contention for a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup, closed on two-under following a 68.

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