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Golf

2013 PLAYERS Championship: Sergio Garcia Goes Low To Take Lead, But Can He Hold On?

Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald

Debby Wong – USA Today Sports

Sergio Garcia was sitting at the desk for his press conference last year at Augusta National. He had just finished his third round in the Masters in which he shot a disappointing 75. While he didn’t allow his emotions to show too much in his English answers, when speaking with Spanish media, he told them “I’m not good enough, I don’t have the thing I need to have” to win a major.

If he continues to play like he did on Thursday and Friday at The Players Championship, he may at least win golf’s unofficial fifth Major for a second time.

Garcia has been quietly consistent all year, frequently overshadowed by Tiger Woods‘ three victories, or the host of exciting first-time champions that have seemingly been taking over every other week. The only time Garcia has finished outside the top 20 in any event on the PGA Tour was when he had to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to injury back in late March.

“I’ve always liked those kinds of courses — small greens, not particularly long, doglegs,” Garcia said. “Courses that are asking you to maneuver the ball. This course is no different.” (Mike McAllister – PGATour.com)

Garcia has long said that TPC Sawgrass is one of his favorite courses to play, and he’s been taking care of business in excellent fashion thus far. So far, Garcia has only needed 51 putts on his way to the tournament lead with 25 of them on Friday. It didn’t hurt that he absolutely caught fire on the front nine, birdieing five straight on holes two through six, and adding another on eight for good measure.

Right behind Garcia sits Tiger Woods, who sits one stroke back at -10 after a second consecutive round of 67. Garcia’s never been one to let on if he’s at all intimidated, but as the course conditions get tougher this weekend with some possible rain late Saturday and into Sunday, he’ll have to use every bit of focus he has to get the job done.

If Garcia can do that, he’ll have a great chance of raising the crystal trophy on Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, or add him to your Google+ network.