/Don’t look now – he doesn’t when he putts – but Sergio Garcia wins Sanderson

Don’t look now – he doesn’t when he putts – but Sergio Garcia wins Sanderson

He made it with his eyes closed. The Spaniard Garcia, a 40 year-old Spaniard is now the most successful winner of the tournament on the PGA Tour. This was not a first-time win. You wouldn’t be able to recognize this person if you didn’t read his name on the golf bag. Sergio Garcia, El Nino, was the winner of The Masters 2017, 35 other professional tournaments across the globe, and many times a Ryder Cup hero. Garcia is widely considered to be one of the greatest ball strikers in golf. He regularly drives over 330 yards. Garcia is also one the most precise golf iron players. There are no telling how many major tournaments Garcia would have won if he hadn’t been for his putter, which is his Achilles heel. Garcia tried to putt traditionally. He tried to putt with both hands. He’s tried to look at the hole rather than the ball. He’s tried every type of putter, including the claw grip. He has been closing his eyes lately, and this is his first time to Jackson. He would then practice a few strokes while keeping his eyes open. After a few practice strokes, he would take a stance and stare at the hole, presumably his putting line for a while before closing his eyes. He did this on both long and short putts. He said, “Every putt.” He opened his eyes as soon as the putter hit the ball. He often observed the ball enter the cup. He was able to finish with a round of five-under-par67 and a total of 72 holes of 19-under 269. This is one shot more than the 2015 Sanderson Farms winner Peter Malnati who finished with a stunning 63, his best round in his career. Garcia did not have a great day on the CCJ greens. Garcia missed some putts that were possible, three-putted one time, and missed some very short ones. Garcia is a phenomenal golfer and doesn’t need to putt very well to win. Garcia stated that Garcia doesn’t feel the need to putt very well to feel it. It feels like I can win with an average, or just above average, putting week. To see it is to be believed. The par-4 sixth hole’s soaring drive of 340 yards, which he swept over oak and pine trees, should have been seen. The 5-wood, 260-yard shot that he hit from the 5th hole of the par-5 is worth a second look. It was a three foot drive. This shot earned Garcia an eagle-3, which brought him to even par with Malnati. Garcia reached the 18th hole with three pars. It was a monster par-4 of 486 yards. El Nino displayed his best ball-striking skills at that point. He first hit a 314-yard drive to the left side fairway against the wind. He then hit a 172-yard, 8-iron which looked almost as if it would land in the hole. He was able to putt a 30-inch putt to win. Such a shot would have been greeted with cheers by the crowd on a Sunday during the fourth round in a PGA Tournament. But not this time. Volunteers gave a few hugs for this shot, which was undoubtedly one of the most difficult in tournament history. COVID-19 meant that there were no luxury suites, no bleachers or fans around the 18th green. This was despite having perfect weather for four consecutive days. It seemed so unfair for a tournament that has experienced all kinds of weather: tornadoes, storms and hurricanes, heat, heat, and just about every other type of weather in its history. We had the greatest tournament players playing in the most favorable weather, and the fans couldn’t watch. Garcia understands the reasons for such precautions better than anyone. Garcia, with his eyes moistening and his eyes watering, dedicated the win — his first in over a year — to his dad and his family. Garcia stated, “Unfortunately my father has many family members in Madrid.” He is one of nine brothers, and unfortunately, we lost two of our brothers to COVID. One at the beginning, Uncle Paco and one last Saturday, Uncle Angel. “You know, it’s sad, it’s sad. He did. He’s only one month away from The Masters. He’d be foolish to leave.