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Big Play
TOM PATRI
May 19, 2008
WHO: Sergio Garc�a
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May 19, 2008

Big Play

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WHO: Sergio Garc�a

WHAT: Wedge to four feet

WHERE: 137-yard par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass

WHEN: First playoff hole at the Players

WHY
Great putting usually wins trophies, but Garc�a prevailed because of ball striking. On the greens Garc�a ranked 69th among the 74 players who made the cut, yet he was first in greens hit in regulation. His knockdown shot, with Hogan-like lag in the downswing, was perfect for the wind and hardpan, as he showed with his gem at 17. But Garc�a will have to improve on the greens if he intends to beat Tiger Woods.

TOM'S TIP
Heed Seve's Three Knockdown Keys

Seve Ballesteros once shared with me these elements of using the knockdown wedge:

BALL POSITION
The further back of center, the lower the ball will go.

SWING LENGTH
The less you go back, the less speed in the swing, the less the ball spins; the less the ball spins, the lower and shorter it will fly.

LEVER LENGTH
The more you grip down on the shaft, the lower and shorter the ball will fly. (This is the key that's most often neglected.)

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