The Gamers Championship: Sergio Garcia rushes to first tee, races to complete line
Sergio Garcia rushed to the primary tee and raced to the end line Thursday in The Gamers Championship.
Ponte Vedra Seashore: Sergio Garcia rushed to the primary tee and raced to the end line Thursday in The Gamers Championship.
Most significantly, he prevented the type of wreck that allowed the TPC Sawgrass to reside as much as its popularity because the course the place something can occur to anybody at any time.
Garcia thought he had loads of time to get from the vary to the tenth tee to begin his spherical. The solar was in his eyes when he seemed on the clock, he wasn’t positive what he noticed, jogged the remainder of the way in which and had a minute to spare. Then he fired off a 7-under 65, capped off by a birdie-birdie-eagle end for a two-shot lead over Brian Harman.
It was a strong day that turned good over the ultimate three holes.
Garcia solely needed to look subsequent to him to see what sort of harm the Stadium Course inflicted, even on a pristine day of nice sunshine and a gentle breeze.
Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, opened with a double bogey from the timber. He hit two within the water on the 18th and made a quadruple-bogey 8. He wound up with a 79, his worst rating since his opening spherical at Royal Portrush within the 2019 British Open.
When darkness introduced the primary spherical to a halt — 21 gamers did not end — there already have been 13 scores of 80 or greater. That included Henrik Stenson with an 85, his highest rating ever on the PGA Tour.
There have been 22 scores of triple bogey or worse.
Garcia took eight photographs to play his closing three holes. Byeong Hun An took 11 photographs on the par-3 seventeenth gap.
The Spaniard feels comfy on a course that causes nervousness even in good climate.
“For some purpose, it simply type of matches my eye,” mentioned Garcia, who gained The Gamers in 2008 and has twice been runner-up. “I see what I wish to do just about each gap, after which it is a matter of doing it.”
Harman performed within the afternoon and was hanging round par till he started the again 9 with three straight birdies, shot 31 on the again and wound up with a 67.
British Open champion Shane Lowry took bogey on his closing gap for a 68 and was tied with Corey Conners and Matt Fitzpatrick. Bryson DeChambeau, coming off his victory final week at Bay Hill, needed to take a bit of off his driver on the par-5 sixteenth and had 9-iron left, organising a birdie-birdie-par end to hitch the group at 69.
The small variety of followers — by Sawgrass requirements — noticed a bit of little bit of every thing.
It began early with McIlroy, who shot 43 on his opening 9 holes.
“The massive quantity on 18 did not assist after which doubling the primary wasn’t useful, both,” he mentioned. “It is exhausting to recuperate if you simply have not performed good. If you happen to take that 18th gap out, it nonetheless wasn’t an excellent day.”
Stenson hit into the water on consecutive holes for a double bogey and a triple bogey. He put two extra within the water, together with considered one of 18 balls within the water on the island-green seventeenth.
Three of these belonged to Kevin Na, who made an 8 after which withdrew after signing for an 81.
Ian Poulter (77) sat for lunch with McIlroy, Stenson and Tyrrell Hatton (76) and posted video of this fearsome foursome that mixed to go 29-over par. “Oh, what a bunch of muppets,” Poulter mentioned.
Rickie Fowler had three double bogeys in his spherical of 77, leaving him at risk of lacking the lower and certain lacking out on the Dell Match Play in two weeks.
Dustin Johnson took double bogey on the par-5 eleventh and eagle on the par-5 sixteenth in his spherical of 73. Jordan Spieth missed solely two fairways and needed to accept a 70.
Garcia’s lone bogey got here after maybe his greatest shot. From the pine straw subsequent to a tree left of the primary fairway, he hooded an iron that got here out low and proper to left with sufficient run that it settled 25 ft away. After which he three-putted.
Probably the most exceptional spherical may need belonged to Hoge, who managed to get by way of 18 holes with out a bogey.
“It was , strong day, type of what you need right here on the Stadium Course,” Hoge mentioned. “I have never been hitting it that nicely coming in right here, so I simply tried to hit numerous greens and keep out of bother for probably the most half.”
Sebastian Munoz was at 4 beneath with one gap to play, that being the 18th, and a shot into the water led to a triple bogey for a 71. He tried to take out the positives of 5 birdies, and that is what makes this match so powerful to foretell. There are many birdies out there. It would not take a lot to erase all the nice work.
“You do have numerous wedges in your hand,” Munoz mentioned. “Par 5s are reachable. So yeah, we do have much more probabilities than a typical course. However I imply, hazard is across the nook on each gap.”
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