Sergio Garcia Good Enough to Be Masters Co-Leader

Sergio Garcia Good Enough to Be Masters Co-Leader

Thirty years after the late Spaniard Seve Ballesteros won his second and last Masters, Sergio Garcia shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday in the first round of the Masters in Augusta, GA to share the first-round lead with Australian Marc Leishman, who had shot a 66 and was in the clubhouse by the afternoon.

He is one shot ahead of American Dustin Johnson and Englishman David Lynn.

Garcia, the Spaniard many thought would be Tiger Woods’ main rival more than a decade ago when he dueled with Woods at the memorable 1999 PGA Championship, has struggled mightily with his putter–and confidence–on some of golf’s grandest stages, which has prevented him from fulfilling his potential.

Dejected at last year’s Masters, Garcia said he was not good enough to win a major and may have to just compete for second or third place at majors. 

“I’m not good enough,” Garcia said. “I had my chances and opportunities and I wasted them. I have no more options. I wasted my options … I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place.”

Garcia has pouted and thrown tantrums after failing to close out majors like the Open Championship (British Open), which has not endeared him to fans in recent years. 

He birdied the first hole, eagled the par-5 eighth, and played a bogey-free round of golf. 

Garcia’s putting has been shaky when he has held the lead at the majors, and he will have to avoid crooked numbers on his golf card as the Spaniard’s nerves and impatience have often gotten the better of him. Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabel are the only two Spaniards to have won the Masters.

Other notable golfers on the leader board include Fred Couples at -4, Adam Scott at -3, Lee Westwood, K.J. Choi, Tiger Woods, and Jason Day at -1, and Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Angel Cabrera, Phil Mickelson, and Bernard Langer at -1. 

Here are all the golfers who finished the first round under par:

T1       Marc Leishman -6
T1   Sergio Garcia -6
3     Dustin Johnson -5
T4   David Lynn -4
T4 Rickie Fowler -4
T4 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano -4
T4         Trevor Immelman -4
T4         Fred Couples -4
T4                   Matt Kuchar -4
T10           Jim Furyk -3
T10           Zach Johnson -3
T10                 Adam Scott -3
T13 Kevin Na -2
T13 David Toms -2
T13         Tim Clark -2
T13 Lee Westwood -2
T13 Justin Rose -2
T13 Brandt Snedeker -2
T13 K.J. Choi -2
T13 John Huh -2
T13 Tiger Woods  -2
T13 Jason Day -2
T23 John Peterson -1
T23 Ryan Moore -1
T23 Ryo Ishikawa -1
T23 Charl Schwartzel -1
T23  Luke Donald -1
T23 Ernie Els -1
T23 Bernhard Langer -1
T23 Bo Van Pelt  -1
T23 Angel Cabrera -1
T23 Phil Mickelson -1