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Garcia's putting aim no longer blurry after eye surgery

Spain's Sergio Garcia reacts during the final round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Moh
Spain's Sergio Garcia reacts during the final round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Moh

DUBAI (Reuters) - Former world number two Sergio Garcia, who has long battled a lack of confidence on the greens, says eye surgery last year has helped him to read putts better than ever as the Spaniard targets a first major win in 2013.

Since surgery in October to correct an astigmatism, the 33-year-old Spaniard has recorded a tied-ninth finish at the DP World Tour Championship before coming joint-second in his season-opener at last week's Qatar Masters.

The world number 14, who came within inches of a first major triumph at the 2007 British Open when a seven-foot par putt on the 18th lipped out, now feels more comfortable when reading greens.

"Although I've always felt like I've been a good green reader, the surgery has helped me focus on small spots more easily than before," Garcia told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic.

"When I was aiming before it would get a little blurry and then I would lose the spot a little bit. Now I can see a little bit sharper, so it makes it easier."

Garcia, who won on the Asian Tour in December in Malaysia, came within a whisker of his 11th European Tour title last week when England's Chris Wood eagled the last to deny the Ryder Cup player and South African George Coetzee a playoff.

Garcia has notched up eight top-five finishes in the four majors since he came second at the 1999 U.S. PGA Championship behind 14-times major champion Tiger Woods.

(Writing by Tom Pilcher in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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