Sergio Garcia is flying high like a bird(ie)…
The 40-year-old Spanish professional golfer, who’d gone a little more than a year without a victory, has won the Sanderson Farms Championship with an 8-iron to 30 inches for birdie on the final hole.
“The perfect ending for an amazing week,” Garcia said.
Garcia, who’d failed to make the FedEx Cup playoffs and fell out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since 2011, hit a 5-wood that barely cleared a bunker and set up an eagle putt from just inside 4 feet to tie for the lead, before hitting the birdie for the win.
Peter Malnati, whose lone PGA Tour victory was at the Country Club of Jackson five years ago, rallied from five shots behind with a career-best 63, punctuated by a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.
That set the target, and Garcia needed his two big shots to catch and then beat him. The 5-wood from 260 yards on the 14th hole hit the top collar of the bunker, hopped onto the fringe and rolled out close to the hole.
But it was the 482-yard closing hole into the wind that made him proud.
“I stood up on 18 and I did what I’ve been doing all week. I trusted myself,” Garcia said. “I aimed down the right side of the fairway and just hit a hard draw — really, really nice drive — and it gave me the ability to have an 8-iron into the green instead of having a 6 or something like that.”
It was his first PGA Tour victory since he won the Masters in 2017 with a back-nine rally highlighted by an 8-iron that glanced off the pin on the 15th and set up eagle. He eventually beat Justin Rose in a playoff.
“This time it was an 8-iron on 18, and to almost hit the pain again and hit it close, it was a dream come true,” he said.
Garcia now has won at least once worldwide in each of his last 10 years, a streak he shares with Rose. He won for the 11th time on the PGA Tour, and the 31st time worldwide.
He finished at 19-under 269 and moves to No. 38 in the world.
Garcia heads for Las Vegas, with the Masters just over a month away.
“A boost of confidence, there’s no doubt,” Garcia said. “Every time you play well, even if I would have not won it, it still would have been a massive high for me this week. To be able to do a lot of the things that I did, it meant a lot. It showed me a lot of what I still have and what I still can do.”