Putting with eyes closed, Sergio Garcia in the mix at Sanderson Farms

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Cameras caught Sergio Garcia putting with his eyes closed Friday at the Sanderson Farms, but he said afterward that it’s nothing new.

In fact, he’s been going with the no-look stroke, on and off, for the past three or four years – even, he said, when he won the Masters in 2017.

“I feel like it gives me a little more freedom to feel the stroke,” Garcia said after posting 8-under 136 through two rounds in Mississippi. “Sometimes we get too focused on trying to make it perfect and kind of following the eyes and everything. So this way I just feel it and I just let my natural ability take over instead of telling myself what to do.”  

It’s been a decent week on the greens so far, with Garcia gaining strokes on the field each of the past two rounds – a marked improvement for a player who last season ranked 187th in that category. That’s one of the reasons why Garcia missed the FedExCup playoffs, slid to 51st in the world ranking and is looking to avoid his first winless year since 2010.  

Now 40, Garcia has missed three of his last four cuts and has just one top-30 finish since February. This week he’s currently ranked fourth in strokes gained: tee to green, but as usual much of the focus will remain on his putting – especially if he’s keeping his eyes closed.

“It was probably almost four years ago,” Garcia said of when he first tried the method. “I would love to putt with my eyes open, but I feel like my stroke is more consistent when I try to forget about it and just feel it. At the end of the day, we all try to find a way to feel comfortable.”