November 26, 2023
Sergio Garcia hits hole-in-one to win sudden death playoff

Sergio Garcia hits hole-in-one to win sudden death playoff

“Well, 28 years on tour and I thought I’d seen everything. I hadn’t!” tweeted Westwood.

Garcia’s moment of inspiration on the fourth hole of the playoff had come after he’d sunk two lengthy putts to stay in contention.

“A hole-in-one is amazing. Lucky No. 13 for me. But the two putts I made on two and three, massive, to keep myself going. And then obviously the shot on four, it’s a great shot, but then you get lucky that first of all it doesn’t hit the flag … and then it rolls back in,” Garcia told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, Garcia had had to take an anti-inflammatory painkiller in his match against Matt Wallace, which the Spaniard lost to set up the playoff against Westwood after he had beaten fellow Briton Tyrrell Hatton.

“It was a tough day. I had to take some Advil on the sixth green because the arch of my left foot was cramping and I was struggling to get through the ball,” Garcia, who will now face Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, told reporters.

“Because of that I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did the other days. I didn’t hit it poorly, but I just didn’t hit it quite as well. I’m going to have to work on it because tomorrow hopefully is going to be a very long day, and I need my feet to be in perfect shape.”

It’s the third consecutive year that Garcia has reached the WGC Matchplay knockout rounds

Sergio Garcia of Spain plays his shot on the 16th tee in his match against Matt Wallace of England during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 26, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Match play etiquette

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson exited the tournament after losing to Kevin Na, who birdied three of the last four holes to win after controversy at the par-3 11th over a breach of match play etiquette.

“I had just inside three feet for a par uphill; it’s a straight putt, and his lipped out and he had six inches and obviously it’s good, but I hadn’t said anything, and he whacked it,” Na told reporters.

“I froze there … and I wasn’t going to say that’s a penalty, you’re going to lose the hole. I was going to say, you know what, that was good anyway. I didn’t want to be over that putt and be thinking about that.

“So I called him over and said, Hey, I’m not going to take the hole from you, but I just want to let you know before I said something you whacked the ball. But I’m going to give that putt to you, so we’ll call it a halve and go to the next hole. That’s what we did. I think it’s the right thing to do.”