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Garcia on high at Sawgrass as McIlroy’s hopes sink – Golf Information | Golf Journal

Sergio Garcia eagled the ninth gap at TPC Sawgrass to take a two-shot after the primary spherical of the PGA Tour’s Gamers Championship.

Beginning his spherical on the tenth gap, the Spaniard, who received the event in 2008, made a birdie on the fifteenth and an eagle on the sixteenth, earlier than charging to the highest of the leaderboard with birdies at 2, 7 and eight after which a shocking eagle on the ninth to finish an outstanding seven-under-par 65.

“I’ve at all times stated it, Valderrama and this course are a few of my high favorite ones and for some cause it simply type of suits my eye,” Garcia stated. “I see what I wish to do just about each gap after which it’s a matter of doing it, however undoubtedly I really feel extra snug and I’ve completed effectively right here. So all these issues assist.”

Garcia is 2 away from American Brian Harman, whereas Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick are tied for third on 4 beneath, after a pair of 68s, whereas final week’s winner and runner-up, Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood respectively, are in a bunch one shot again after opening 69s. 

There was much less success for final 12 months’s Gamers Championship winner Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman, who was enjoying alongside Garcia, all however ended his possibilities of successful this week after carding an error-strewn 79.

A lot of the injury was completed on the 18th gap – his ninth – the place he racked up a quadruple-bogey eight after discovering the water twice off the tee, however he made an terrible begin when he hooked his drive on the tenth into the undergrowth and needed to take a penalty drop on his approach to a double-bogey six.

The four-time main champion additionally three-putted the par-three thirteenth. A birdie from 9 toes on the primary gap noticed him start to restore a few of the injury, and he made one other on the second, regardless of once more hitting a poor drive, however bogeys on the subsequent two holes dropped him again to seven over. He clawed one shot again on the fifth, however one other three-putt on the ninth noticed him signal for a 79, equalling the best opening spherical of a defending champion set by Sandy Lyle in 1988.

The water surrounding Sawgrass’s famed island inexperienced seventeenth claimed 35 balls on Thursday – the one spherical report is 50 – earlier than darkness ended play with a number of gamers nonetheless out on the course. South Korea’s An Byeong-hun, racked up the largest rating of the day, hitting 4 balls within the water on the best way to an octuple-bogey 11 – one shot decrease than Bob Tway’s report 12 in 2005.

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