World News – US – Sergio Garcia delivers knockout at 18 for first win since Masters 2017


The 40-year-old Spaniard, who resorted to putting his eyes closed, is again a winner on the PGA Tour for the first time since the Masters 2017

« Would you believe me if I told you I’ve been doing this for about three years? » Garcia said on Friday « I went every once in a while but like Augusta I won it by playing with my eyes closed every putt and some of the other wins too »

That roster now includes the Sanderson Farms Championship as Garcia erupted from a prolonged slump with a 5-under-67 final round at Jackson’s Country Club and beat Peter Malnati with a birdie on the last hole to score his 11th PGA Tour Title

Garcia subsequently dedicated the victory to his father, Victor, who lost two brothers to COVID-19 in his native Spain

Garcia has been mired in a protracted crisis, recording only one top 10 since February and had missed three of his last four cuts He failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs and dropped out of the top 50 on the official world golf rankings last week for the first time in nine years

The main culprit was a putter tormenting him Garcia ranked No 187 in strokes won: Putting last season, and entered the week without 246 in that statistic category this season As he searched for his game, Garcia flirted with various putting handles before releasing his shot by closing his eyes when he put on It worked He made 55 of 56 putts inside five feet and won shots against the field on the greens in all four rounds

« If he continues to putt, everyone will try here too, » said Brandt Snedeker

On a bright, sunny day Malnati, the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship winner, started the day five fewer strokes and managed nearly two hours ahead of Garcia, but birdied seven of his first 12 holes to join the trophy hunt

Malnati, 33, was mostly thinking about making a top 10 to qualify for next week’s Tour in Las Vegas until his putter got hot He rolled 139 feet of putts in the round final, including a 33-foot birdie putt at No 17 He pumped his fist three times and so far led by three shots He shot the low round of the day, 9-under 63, to set the pace at 18 under

“This is my dream job, and I can do it everyday, and it beats me and it’s so hard, and the competition here is so strong, and you fail so much,” said Malnati. Having a day like today was awesome I feel like I won the tournament I probably won’t, but I feel like I did, and it ‘is amazing « 

Garcia caught Malnati in a dramatic fashion, hitting a 5 wood from 260 yards inside 4 feet and hole the putt for the eagle Then he delivered the punch at 18, planting an 8 iron of 172 yards at three inside feet for birdie to finish 19-under 269 This is the same club he attacked on Augusta National’s 15th par 5 hole that earned him his playoff victory and only major title

This time Garcia hit him so close he could have putt with his eyes open or closed He tapped, pumped his fist, and looked skyward with the realization that he was once again a winner

When asked for the key to his resurgence, Garcia said, « I think you have to keep believing, keep working hard, you just have to get there, your mind is right », before add: « I feel like I’m starting to be like the old me »

Adam Schupak drags his laptop and golf bag and follows the sun to write about golf since 1997 He has worked for the PGA Tour, the World Golf Hall of Fame and as a senior editor at Golfweek

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Sanderson Farms Championship, Sergio García, PGA TOUR, Championship

World news – USA – Sergio Garcia delivers a punch at 18 for his first win since the Masters 2017


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