Sergio Garcia goes back to old putter and shares LIV lead at Doral

Updated Apr. 5, 2024 7:06 p.m. ET

DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Sergio Garcia decided to refurbish the putter he used 25 years ago when he was a rookie and played like it was 1999 on Friday. He was bogey-free at Trump National Doral for a 5-under 67 to share the lead with Talor Gooch and Peter Uihlein in LIV Golf Miami.

Gooch had the lead until a bogey on his final hole, the par-4 second hole in the shotgun start. Uihlein dropped only one shot, at the par-4 18th, in his round of 67.

They led by one shot over a group that included Bubba Watson, a three-time runner-up on the Blue Monster course at Doral when it hosted a World Golf Championship event on the PGA Tour.

Masters champion Jon Rahm, winless so far in his inaugural season with the Saudi-funded league, shot 69. So did five-time major champion Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed.


Garcia said he got the Scotty Cameron staff to clean up his putter from 1999, when he challenged Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship at Medinah as a 19-year-old and played in his first Ryder Cup.

It served him well in his final event before the Masters, which he won in 2017.

Garcia is among 13 players from LIV who are playing next week at Augusta National. Gooch, a three-time winner on LIV last year, will not be joining them. He said earlier this year that if Rory McIlroy were to win the Masters, it would require an asterisk with so many top players from LIV Golf not playing.

Asked if his 67 was a statement about LIV players qualifying for majors, Gooch said he could only try to do what he did a year ago.

“I'm going to keep trying to shoot as many 67s as I can and eventually all of that will take care of itself,” he said.


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