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Sergio Garcia seeking to break Major duck

Sergio Garcia believes his game is best suited for U.S. Open courses. If that's true, the Spaniard should excel at this PGA Championship.

Baltusrol Golf Club has the look and feel of an Open layout, sporting plenty of length and thick rough that favors the long hitters. And that has Garcia liking his chances.

``I've always said that my favorite ones are the British Open and the Masters,'' Garcia said. ``But I've also said that probably the U.S. Open is the one that suits my game the best because it challenges you to hit a lot of drivers off the tee and you have to hit it fairly straight, and I'm usually pretty good at that.''

This season, Garcia ranks 14th in driving distance, but just 145th in accuracy, hitting the short grass 59.5 percent of the time.

Accuracy will be key at this championship, and not just on the monster 17th, playing as a true three-shot par-5 at 650 yards. There'll be no break on the par-3s, which measure from 194 yards at No. 4, to as long as 230 yards at No. 16.

``There are some real good holes out there,'' Garcia said of the layout that hosted the 1993 U.S. Open. ``It's going to be challenging.''

He enters the event with seven top-10 finishes this season and, after missing the cut at the Masters, has played well at the U.S. Open (tied for third) and British Open (tied for fifth).

``You've got to realize that a lot of these majors, I'm contending without really putting well,'' he said.

The stats back up Garcia's claim. He ranks 199th in putting.

He burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old player in his rookie season in 1999, claiming the first-round lead at the PGA at Medinah and eventually finishing second to Tiger Woods.

That's just one of the reasons Garcia favors the season's final major -- even if he hasn't had the greatest success.

After a second-place finish in '99, Garcia tied for 34th in 2000, missed the cut in '01, tied for 10th in '02, and has missed the cut the last two years.

Regardless, he's looking forward to the 87th PGA.

``I've had the pleasure of playing fairly well on it,'' Garcia said. ``Unfortunately, I haven't been able to win it yet, but it's one of those tournaments that, of course, I would love to win by when my career ends.''

 

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