The PLAYERS: Sergio Garcia continues love affair with Sawgrass

Sergio Garcia

TPC Sawgrass surely brings out the best in Sergio Garcia.

A winner of The PLAYERS Championship in 2008, the Spaniard has made the cut in the PGA Tour's flagship event for 16 consecutive years. 

In addition to that victory 13 years ago, he has also finished second twice, inside the top-5 on another two occasions, and inside the top-10 once further. 

Today, in the opening round of this year's event, the 41-year-old rekindled his love affair with the Pete Dye-designed course. 

• WATCH - An suffers nightmare at 17th

• PGA Tour introduces 'Bryson Rule' for Sawgrass

• Rory has no plans to change coach or caddie

A sublime seven-under 65 vaulted Garcia into an early lead. It was his 25th career round in the 60s at The PLAYERS - a tournament record - and tied his career low round in the event. 

Alongside Fred Couples, the former Masters champion is also the second player in the championship's history with at least three rounds of 65 or lower at TPC Sawgrass, whilst his two eagles - at the ninth and 16th holes - tied Couples' record of 15.

So, yeah. He likes the place.

"I just love it," said Garcia after his round. "I've always said it, Valderrama and this course are some of my top favourite ones and for some reason they just, it just kind of fits my eye. 

"I see what I want to do pretty much every hole and then it's a matter of doing it, but definitely I feel more comfortable and I've done well. So all those things help.

• Bob Mac holes impossible shot at Sawgrass

"I hit some good iron shots, drove the ball nicely, hit some good iron shots and give myself a lot of those 15 to 20-footers for eagles and birdies and I was able to roll three or four of them, and that obviously helps."

Making Garcia's 65 all the more impressive was the fact that so many of his fellow big names struggled on a brutally tough day for scoring.

His playing partner Rory McIlroy stumbled to a 79, whilst the world No.1 and No.2 - Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson - also failed to break par. Former Open champion Henrik Stenson, meantime, props up the leaderboard after a 13-over 85. He was one of more than a dozen players who failed to break 80.

• Popular Scots municipal course under threat

• Win a Motocaddy PRO 3000 laser rangefinder

"The greens are probably as quick as I've seen them for a few years," admitted Garcia. "And because they were soft it was like it was tough to control your spin. You spin it a little bit with the speed of the greens and a little bit of slope, the balls were just rolling off the greens, and you were hitting good shots and they weren't holding. 

"So it was a little bit tricky. It kind of caught us a couple of times here and there but I was able to manage it nicely towards the end."

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
IS IT TIME TO ORDER NEW WEDGES? - TaylorMade MG3 review
TaylorMade
play button
THE SIMPLE WAY TO FLUSH YOUR IRONS | with Ewen Ferguson
Ewen Ferguson
play button
DO THE TAYLORMADE P790 IRONS LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
TaylorMade
play button
I TAKE ON THE BEST AMATEUR GOLFER IN SCOTLAND
angus carrick
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Tickets for first bunkered LIVE in England go on-sale
Ryan Campbell goes low to win Get Back To Golf Tour finale
Fredrik Anderson Hed: European Tour winner dies aged 49
Thousands of fake golf clubs seized in China
David Booth a late WD ahead of Get Back To Golf finale

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Let your arms and shoulders work together
Watch
play button
Take the club away on the correct path
Watch
play button
Complete your backswing
Watch
play button
Denis Pugh gives a lesson for beginners
Watch
See all videos right arrow