Sergio Garcia had to remove his shoes before playing his approach on the par-5 12th. He went on to halve the hole with a sensational birdie. By Lewis Blain
WATCH: Sergio Garcia Removes Shoes To Play Shot Off Cart Path
Sergio Garcia hit one of the shots of the day during his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play opener with Shubhankar Sharma.
The 2017 Masters champion removed his shoes to hit his approach into the par-5 12th after his drive was hit wayward onto the cart path.
Garcia sensationally managed to hit his second shot to within 30-feet of the pin where he went on to two-putt for birdie to halve the hole with Sharma.
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The 38-year-old said after the round: “I have spikes. So if I don’t take my shoes off, I’m going to slip. It’s not the kind of shot that you want to slip.
“I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”
The match-up between the world number nine Garcia and 21-year-old prodigy Sharma was the penultimate pairing sent out onto the course during the opening day.
There was little to split the two with it going down to the final hole.
Garcia went 2-up through the opening four holes but Joburg Open and Maybank Championship winner Sharma worked his way back to take a one-hole lead turning into the back nine.
The 10-time winner on the PGA Tour, Garcia, birdied five of his final eight holes to bring it back to all-square twice.
It was all to play for going into the par-4 18th but the Spaniard pounced on a poor tee shot by Sharma to leave himself with an 8-footer for the victory.
The win extends his record to 20-17-1 in the WGC Match Play format and it caps off a memorable week after the birth of his daughter, Azalea.
“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said.
“Obviously, it’s something that we’re so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”
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