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Garcia Putts Out with a Wedge

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Sergio Garcia had a bit of explaining to do when he was seen putting out on the 18th hole Friday with his wedge.
I didnt break it, Garcia said of his putter. On 11, I missed a short one for birdie and I kind of just, what we do all the time, just threw it to the bag and (the shaft) bent just a little bit.
Under Rule 4-3b in the USGAs Rules of Golf (which the PGA Tour abides by), a club that has been altered from its normal state outside the conditions of normal play cannot be subsequently used or replaced for the remainder of the round.
Because of this, Garcia was forced to go a different route on the greens, even though he said the putter was still in putting shape.
I tried 8-iron on 12, 3-wood on 13 and from 14 on I used the wedge, and I hit some good putts, Garcia said.
The defending champion shot even-par 73 in round two and is 15 strokes off the 36-hole lead, at 2-under par.
For the record, he had 32 putts Friday, one less than in the opening round.
Welcome Return for Price
Nick Price has won 18 times on the PGA Tour, at least once in eight of his 20 years on the circuit. However, this is only his fourth appearance in the Mercedes Championships, which is only on offer to the winners of the previous season.
But his absence was never a slight to the tournament.
I felt obliged and also my duty to play in South Africa during that period because the sponsors wanted all the top players at the time, explained Price, who is at 8-under par through two rounds.
So why did he return this year after winning the 2002 MasterCard Colonial?
They dont want me anymore (in South Africa) because Im not a top player, he joked.
The soon-to-be 46-year-old Zimbabwean will head to South Africa in two weeks for the Dimension Data Pro-Am. He will play his next PGA Tour event at the Nissan Open in February.
Price played this tournament in 1984, 92 and 98. His best finish was a tie for fourth in his last appearance. All three, however, were at the La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, Calif. This is the first time hes played the event on the Plantation Course in Maui.
I think this is a great place to have it this time of year. It certainly is a soft start to the year, he said. I couldnt think of a better place to play now this time of year, to be honest. Im very happy to be here.
Perking Up
Craig Perks year couldnt have gotten off to a worse start Thursday, but it got dramatically better.
The reigning Players Championship winner double bogeyed his first hole in the first round and then added another double at the fourth. Four-over through four holes, he finished the day at 4-under thanks to eight birdies over his final 13 holes.
He continued that run Friday with three birdies over his first six holes, but made his third double bogey of the tournament at the par-5 15th. He shot 2-under 71 in round two to get to 6-under par for the event.
Related Links:
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