Garcia confident of victory

Garcia confident of victory

Sergio Garcia believes he is edging closes to an overdue tournament victory after carding a six-under-par 66 to take the lead at the end of the first round of the Players Championship on Thursday.

The 28-year-old, who has not won anywhere in the world in nearly three years, has always played by feel, which is why he is trying not to get too tied up in mechanics with his new short game instructor, Stan Utley.

"I seem to be driving the ball better than I have the past year or so," he said. "But more than anything, the most important thing is not that my short game looks good, but that it feels good, because at the end of the day, what you need is to feel it, and I'm starting to feel it.

"Even if I had won last week, I would still be as motivated, trying to win this week, so that doesn't change.

"At the end of the day, the only thing I can do is keep working on it, keep giving myself chances, and it's going to happen. I feel like it's getting closer and closer. At least now I feel I can do it."

Garcia, who finished a back door runner-up behind Phil Mickelson last year when American Sean O'Hair stumbled down the stretch, opened a two-stroke lead over Americans Paul Goydos and Kenny Perry.

Goydos was among 19 players who put a total of 20 balls into the water at the famous par-3 17th, but that was one of the few blemishes on his card.

Ian Poulter headed the British contingent on three-under 69, but it is worth noting that five of the seven British players had late tee times, and therefore endured the worst of the weather.

No fewer than 26 players broke par among the morning half of the field, compared to only eight players in the afternoon.

More on this topic

Kaymer form continues at Players ChampionshipKaymer form continues at Players Championship

Trio share Sawgrass leadTrio share Sawgrass lead

Lingmerth leads at SawgrassLingmerth leads at Sawgrass

Maggert on the charge at Sawgrass

More in this Section

Sheffield United striker charged with drink-drivingSheffield United striker charged with drink-driving

Two arrested over ‘racist abuse’ at FA Cup matchTwo arrested over ‘racist abuse’ at FA Cup match

World Rugby investigating photo of referee Peyper ‘mocking Vahaamahina elbow’World Rugby investigating photo of referee Peyper ‘mocking Vahaamahina elbow’

Onus now rests on Croke Park to make Tier 2 a successOnus now rests on Croke Park to make Tier 2 a success


Lifestyle

As he prepares to stand down at Wexford Festival Opera, director David Agler tells Cathy Desmond about the highlights of his 15 years at the helmAll set for his swansong: Director David Agler highlights 15 years at Wexford Festival Opera

Volunteers from the multinational tech company harvest food fresh from Fota Gardens, writes Peter Dowdall.Made in Munster: The tech giant Apple harvesting food from Fota Gardens

Peter Dowdall takes a look at a plant that thrives in damp soil and is a key part of Ireland’s biodiversityThe wonders of willows: A key part of Ireland’s biodiversity

Pollutants can have an impact on your health, but there are things you can do to reduce the potential damage.High pollution days ‘lead to more cardiac arrests and strokes’: 5 easy ways to protect yourself

More From The Irish Examiner