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Sergio Garcia posts eye-opening victory on PGA Tour

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia will not play in this week's Masters after the Spaniard disclosed Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

With no-look putting style, Spaniard wins the Sanderson Farms Championship for his 1st PGA Tour title since the 2017 Masters

Sergio Garcia ended a 3½-year winless streak on the PGA Tour, making a birdie on the last hole Sunday to win the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss.

It was the first victory on the PGA Tour for the 40-year-old Spaniard since the 2017 Masters, though he has won three times on his home European Tour since having slipped into the green jacket (scores).

“It’s pretty sweet,” Garcia said after holing a 2½-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th at Country Club of Jackson to cap a 5-under 67 for a 19-under 269 total and one-stroke victory. “I lost two uncles because of COVID. It’s been tough for my dad [Victor], so this one was for them.”

Peter Malnati matched the low round of the week, firing a 9-under 63 on Sunday to post the clubhouse target at 18-under 270. The score stood up until the last stroke of the day.

After shaking off two bogeys on the front side, Garcia, the 54-hole co-leader, played flawless golf on the back side, sparked by a lasered 3-wood from 260 yards to 3½ feet for an eagle 3 at the par-5 14th hole. He came to the 18th tee tied with Malnati before a driver and 8-iron left him with a ceremonial tap-in birdie to win.

“It feels great to stand there on 18, hit a nice draw with an 8-iron and make a putt,” said Garcia, who putted with his eyes closed all week in his first appearance in Jackson.

Garcia had missed cuts in three of his past four starts and hadn’t recorded a top-10 result since a T-5 at the RBC Heritage in June. He had slipped to 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking, the first time he has been out of the top 50 in the world order since 2011.

It was 11th victory on the PGA Tour for Garcia, who also has won 15 times on the European Tour and five times on the Asian Tour.

Garcia earned $1.188 million from the $6.6 million purse.

Malnati, whose only PGA Tour victory came in Jackson at the 2015 Sanderson Farms, finished solo second. J.T. Poston, who held a share of the 54-hole lead, shot 70 to finish three strokes off the page at 16-under 272.

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