Garcia, with eyes closed, grabs share of lead in Mississippi

FILE PHOTO: Sep 18, 2020; Mamaroneck, New York, USA; Sergio Garcia plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club - West. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Sergio Garcia, seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2017 Masters, earned a share of the third-round lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday while putting with his eyes closed.

Garcia, who has missed three of his last four cuts, used a sizzling stretch around the turn and steady finish to card a bogey-free, six-under-par 66 that brought him to 14 under on the week at the Country Club of Jackson.

That left the Spaniard in a three-way share of the lead with Australian Cameron Davis (63) and American J.T. Poston (69) and one shot clear of Brandt Snedeker (67) and Norway’s Kristoffer Ventura (68).

After his round, Garcia was asked about his decision to go with the no-look strokes on the greens.

“I don’t know why - it is what I’m doing, but I don’t know why it’s such a big deal. I don’t see anywhere in the book of rules of golf where it says that you can’t do it,” Garcia said.

“At the end of the day, we’re all trying to find ways to be better, to be more consistent, and that’s what works for me.

“I’ve done it for quite a while now in practice and obviously in most of my tournaments. It’s just a personal thing that I feel like it helps me, and that’s why I do it.”

Garcia, who began the day five shots back of overnight leader Keegan Bradley (73), birdied his second hole and then turned it up a notch with four birdies over a five-hole stretch around the turn before another at the 15th.

Poston went out late and had the outright lead with three holes to play but made a bogey at the par-four 16th where he was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Paul Simao