Garcia back in the hunt at Sawgrass

p39148Sport-9-1

Published: Saturday 9th May 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

A day after snapping his putter in half in frustration, Sergio Garcia fought back into contention for a second Players Championship title at Sawgrass.

Garcia was so frustrated with his putting during a second round of 72 that he switched back and forth between a conventional grip and the “claw” method he has used successfully for the last few years.

And after detailing his frustrations to the media – admitting “I don’t know what to do” – the Ryder Cup star found the nearest bin, broke his putter in half and disposed of it in unceremonial fashion.

Having secured a replacement for the third round, Garcia still missed a number of short putts – most notably from three feet for birdie on the 13th – but also chipped in for an eagle on the second and carded five birdies and two bogeys in a superb 67.

Garcia crucially saved par from 12 feet on the 18th after a poor approach and told Sky Sports: “Unfortunately I am still not 100 per cent with my putting. I missed three or four shorties but at least it was nice to make that last one on 18.

“That was big. I hit a great shot and a bad second, hit a very good chip and to be able to make that putt hopefully gives me a chance to do something (on Sunday).”

Garcia said he would stick with the “claw” grip for the final round, adding: “Even when it does not feel great, it still feels less bad than the other one. Hopefully I get some confidence from the nice putts I made today and try to forget the bad ones.”

Garcia’s round took the 2008 champion to eight under par and into a share of the clubhouse lead with American Justin Thomas, who had carded 10 birdies and three bogeys in a 65 which equalled the lowest round of the week.

Thomas is a close friend of Masters champion Jordan Spieth and admitted Spieth’s Masters victory in April was a major source of inspiration.

“It’s been very motivating,” the 22-year-old told Sky Sports. “He is a good buddy of mine and has done some pretty amazing things this year.

“Although it’s been fun to watch, it’s been a little bit indifferent because I want to be up there battling it out with him in majors. I have some work to do but I feel like I am trending in the right direction.”

Out on the course, American duo Kevin Kisner and Ben Martin were setting the pace on 10 under with five and six holes to play respectively, with Chris Kirk and overnight joint leader Kevin Na a shot behind.

Ian Poulter was three off the lead on seven under with Rory McIlroy a shot further back, the world number one recovering from a front nine of 37 with birdies on the 11th, 13th and 16th.

Earlier in the day, f ormer world number one Tiger Woods gained an unwanted record as he struggled to a third round of 75.

The American had insisted he could still win a third Players title despite making the halfway cut right on the mark of level par, but a front nine of 40 put paid to any faint hopes and saw the 14-time major winner record multiple double bogeys on par fives for the first time in his professional career.

Published: Saturday 9th May 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search