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Originally published Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

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Nick Watney wins FedEx Cup playoffs opener | Golf

Nick Watney won the opening event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs, The Barclays at Bethpage Black in New York.

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Nick Watney salvaged what had been a mediocre season Sunday at The Barclays with a victory that came at an ideal time.

Watney turned a two-shot deficit against Sergio Garcia into a three-shot lead in a decisive four-hole stretch around the turn at Bethpage Black, and no one got closer than two shots. Watney made a 10-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 2-under-par 69 to take the opening event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs.

Watney, who earned $1.44 million for his fifth PGA Tour victory, won by three shots over second-place Brandt Snedeker (70). Watney goes from 49th to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and is assured a shot at the $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship next month in Atlanta.

Watney finished at 10-under 274.

"I made more putts than I made all year," he said.

Ryan Moore (75) of Puyallup tied for 24th place, and ex-Washington Huskies player Troy Kelly (73) tied for 54th.

The top 100 players in FedEx Cup points advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday at TPC Boston.

Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor is 30th in points despite missing the cut at The Barclays and Moore is 53rd. Kelly, at 113th, failed to advance.

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