Recent equipment changes and adjustments seem to be paying off for Sergio Garcia.
Fresh off a 4-stroke victory at the Thailand Golf Championship this past December, the longtime TaylorMade-adidas staff player claimed the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on Saturday with a thrilling birdie on the third playoff hole to edge Finland’s Mikko Ilonen.
It was his 11th European Tour victory (first since 2011), and second win in his last three overall starts since putting TaylorMade’s newly released Tour Preferred MC irons and Tour Preferred X golf ball in play.
A year after finishing as the runner-up, Garcia entered the final round three shots back but was able to orchestrate a brilliant bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead with a total of 272 (16-under). It wasn’t until ILonen canned an 18-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole that the two were headed for a playoff, ultimately won by the Spaniard.
“I started the day thinking if I can shoot 6 or 7 under, I can have a chance,” the 6-time Ryder Cupper told reporters following his round. “I’m very happy to be able to win it.”
Garcia’s 19 birdies and one eagle for the championship were set up in large part by a powerful tee game; he ranked fifth in driving distance for the week (299.6 yards), a testament to his recent SLDR “Loft Up” from 9-degrees to 9.5-degrees.
The 34-year-old also finished in the top 30 in putting using his TaylorMade Spider Prototype Mallet and claimed his first win sporting the new super-lightweight adidas adizero one golf shoes.
The victory will vault Garcia back into the top 10 (entered as No. 11) when the new Official World Golf Rankings are released this week.
In Sergio’s Bag:
Driver: SLDR (9.5-degrees)
3-wood: SLDR (15.5-degrees)
5-wood: SLDR (18.5-degrees)
Irons: New Tour Preferred MC (3-PW)
Wedges: ATV (50-and 58-degrees)
Putter: Spider Mallet Proto
Ball: Tour Preferred X