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Missed 23-incher headlines Sergio Garcia's 'beautiful roller coaster' of a round

Sergio Garcia
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Bryson DeChambeau isn’t the only player who practices until dark. As the sun ducked behind the trees Friday evening at TPC Sawgrass, Sergio Garcia stood on the practice green and rolled putt after putt.

That’s what you do when you have the kind of day with the flatstick that Garcia did on Friday.

Garcia carded an even-par 72 and sits two shots back midway through The Players Championship, but he struggled mightily on the greens. After needing just 29 putts and ranking second in the field in strokes gained putting on Thursday, Garcia struck 34 putts on Friday while losing 2.890 shots on the greens, which ranked him No. 142 of 155 players left in the field.

Here were Garcia’s misses inside of 8 feet:

• 3 feet, 5 inches for birdie at No. 3

• 5 feet, 7 inches for par at No. 6

• 7 feet, 6 inches for birdie at No. 9

• 7 feet, 5 inches for par at No. 10

• 4 feet, 10 inches for par at No. 14

• 23 inches for par at No. 15

That last one was especially jarring.

“I wish I could explain it,” Garcia said. “It’s not like I rushed or anything. I was only like a foot away, and I don’t know – I just hit a putt and it just went way left.”

Players Round 2 'didn't feel as smooth' for Garcia

Players Round 2 'didn't feel as smooth' for Garcia

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Of course, shooting even par while missing all of those putts means that Garcia had a few bright spots, too. He birdied two of his final three holes, including sticking his approach shot at No. 18 inside of 5 feet and draining the putt. He also nearly made a double eagle at the par-5 11th hole, hitting his second shot to 4 inches to set up an eagle.

“It was a beautiful roller coaster, that's for sure,” Garcia said. “Yeah, there were a lot of good things. Unfortunately, [also] a lot of bad things. But more than anything there was a lot of fighting, and that's one of the things that I'm most proud of because when things are not really happening and you miss a couple putts here and there, it's easy to kind of let the round get away from you. Fortunately for me, I was able to keep it together and obviously had a great finish the last three holes, so very proud of that."