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Sergio Garcia hoping to find form at Players Championship

Sergio Garcia goes into this week’s Players Championship as the title holder but also as one of the most out of form of the world’s elite players.

The world number three scored a playoff victory last year over American Paul Goydos at the Sawgrass course’s famous 17th hole which features an island green.

This year, though, Garcia has yet to make the top-10 in six PGA Tour events and has managed only one top-25 finish.

“There’s obviously a couple of things missing,” the Spaniard told reporters on Tuesday. “I am not feeling 100 percent with my game at the moment and it shows.

“I’m just not having a great time on the course. I’m working on trying to change that.

“This is a tough course but it’s a good place for me to hopefully turn around and start going in the right direction,” added Garcia.

One encouraging factor is that last year he started in a similarly slow fashion before winning the Players.

“We all go through these things,” said Garcia. “It’s just a matter of keeping going at it and just waiting for things to change, just hold on to something good that will help you get through it and that’s what I’m searching for.

“I’m sure I’ll find it. Hopefully this week we’ll start going the right way.”

Considered the unofficial ‘fifth major’, the Players always attracts a top field and this year is no exception with the biggest names all fancying their chances.

World number one Tiger Woods has not won here since 2001 and, although he picked up his first win since his eight-month injury lay-off at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, he is keen to deal with his relatively disappointing record here.

Second-ranked Phil Mickelson, the 2007 winner, says the beauty of the course is that it does not reward one particular style of player.

“It’s different in that it’s not naturally blended into the land, it’s very artificial,” said the American left-hander. “It’s made up, bulldozed, dirt everywhere, but yet shot value has been created that is second to none.

“The quality of the shot-making that’s needed is very fair. It changes from hole to hole, there’s a great mixture in length of holes, great mixture in shots needed, placements of hazards.

“It’s just very well thought through,” added Mickelson.

The tournament starts on Thursday.


May 6, 2009

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