It had been 15 a long time because Sergio Garcia last played the Plantation Class at Kapalua, residence of the Sentry Match of Champions. Garcia, the 2002 event winner, didn’t skip a beat, indicating “Aloha” to a 6-below 67 and a share of the to start with-round lead in Hawaii.
“It’s excellent to be again,” Garcia mentioned. “I’ve certainly experienced the possibility of coming way right before this calendar year, but getting in Europe it is a quite long way absent to occur for probably 1 or two weeks.”
Garcia, who certified for the match by profitable the Sanderson Farms Championship in Oct, had skipped the winners-only gathering in past several years simply because he usually spends Christmas in his native Spain and approximated it is a 22-hour trip to Maui from there. But this year, owing to COVID-19, he was not able to journey to Europe and arrived at Kapalua early from his property in Texas.
“This yr, it was a very little bit less difficult because we ended up in Austin due to the fact of all the things which is going on in the globe and it created it a ton less difficult for me and the family to be below and just have a nice few of weeks,” he defined.
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Garcia’s spherical commenced inauspiciously with a a few-putt bogey at the initial and was 2-about par through three holes. But he turned his day all-around with a chip-in eagle from the hazard fronting the fifth inexperienced and then was off to the races.
“It was a good shot that of course had a minor little bit of luck included for the reason that I was likely by a few of people weeds with my club,” Garcia explained of the chip-in from 53 toes away.
Garcia, who turns 41 on Saturday, tacked on six far more birdies above his remaining 13 holes, tying Robert Streb, Nick Taylor and Ryan Palmer with opening-round 67’s. It was very good more than enough for the next-most affordable rating of the day, trailing only Harris English, who was 7-less than by 16 holes.
It’s been virtually 20 yrs due to the fact Garcia received here in his match debut and the memories of that triumph came flooding back, primarily when he was proven some clips from that particular 7 days, including the winning putt in a playoff.
“I appeared truly young, which was wonderful,” he said with a chuckle. “Made a clutch putt on 18 to give myself a shot at remaining in the playoff with David Toms and then the putt I created.”
If Garcia continues his torrid speed on Thursday about the up coming three times, he could be booking his return trip a ton sooner than another 15 several years.