Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Resurgent Sergio Garcia dreams of ending Masters drought

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Sergio Garcia of Spain reacts on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11: Sergio Garcia of Spain reacts on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia leads the Masters a year after claiming he was only ever playing for second at Augusta. Garcia let rip a year ago after shooting a 75 on Saturday.

His highest finish here is fourth but after an opening 66, he heads the challenge to become the first European to win here since fellow Spaniard Jose-Maria Olazabal 14 years ago.

Click here to see the Masters leaderboard

"This was one of those days you really enjoy. Hopefully I can take it through to Sunday night. The first 10 holes is the best 10 holes I have played at the Masters. I gave myself a lot of chances. I will take that to my pillow tonight," he said.

"We go through frustrating moments in this game. In the past I have shot myself out of this tournament. If my best is good I will have a chance of winning. Today my best was pretty good and I'm looking forward to doing the same thing over the next three days."

If Garcia's was the round of the day, alongside co-leader Marc Leishman from Australia, the greatest achievement arguably belonged to Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old schoolboy from China. Guan rattled in a birdie at the last for a one-over-par 73.

"I want to win a major one day," Guan said. "Hopefully I can win all four in one year. It's like a dream come true, and to play some good golf today, just feels great. The people are nice and some of the times they are cheering for me and it feels great."

Dustin Johnson posted a round of 67 to leave him one shot off the lead, while unheralded Englishman David Lynn had a debut to remember after his 68 saw the former Wigan goalkeeper briefly top the leader board.

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