Los Angeles: Sergio Garcia gave himself a boost heading into next week's World Golf Championships Match Play Championship with a sizzling seven-under 64 in the final round of the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.
The Spaniard, playing with renewed enthusiasm after two European Tour victories late last season, had barely made the cut in the $6.6 million US PGA Tour event after a second-round 76.
He was far enough back that he started the final round off the 10th tee, but he rocketed up the leaderboard with eagles at the par-five 11th and the par-four 15th - where he holed a four-iron from 207 yards out.
"That's golf," Garcia said. "I hit a good drive and a four-iron and it just went in the bottom."
Garcia finished with five birdies and two bogeys and was in a group sharing fourth place behind Bill Haas on five-under 279.
Haas won the second hole of a sudden-death playoff after finishing 72 holes tied with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley on seven-under 277.
Despite the unpredictability of the match play format, Garcia said his effort on the historic par-71 Riviera Country Club layout was a good way to go into the upcoming WGC event in Arizona.
"It is good momentum for me and I'm hoping that I can take it into next week and have a couple nice rounds early on and kind of get going as the tournament goes on," Garcia said.
"Next week it's just a matter of hopefully getting in front of the guy you're playing and making sure that you don't let him breathe too much."
Garcia was especially pleased with his putting. He rolled in a nine-footer for his eagle at 11, a six-footer for birdie at the par-three 16th and a 14-footer from the fringe at 18.
Coming home he had two long bombs for birdies at three and six, but also notched the two bogeys that stalled his progress up the leaderboard.
"These greens are very, very tricky and in the afternoon they get bumpy," Garcia said. "Talking about it, though, I felt like I hit a lot of good putts."