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Big finish sends Garcia to big lead at Gamers Championship

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Big finish sends Garcia to big lead at Gamers Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sergio Garcia rushed to the first tee and raced to the finish line Thursday in The Gamers Championship.

Most importantly, he achieved with out the extra or less wreck that allowed the TPC Sawgrass to dwell up to its reputation as the course the build the leisure can happen to any individual at any time.

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Garcia knowing he had a great deal of time to accumulate from the differ to the 10th tee to birth up his round. The sun was in his eyes when he seemed at the clock, he wasn’t certain what he seen, jogged the leisure of the manner and had a minute to spare. Then he fired off a 7-below 65, capped off by a birdie-birdie-eagle finish for a two-shot lead over Brian Harman.

It was a stable day that turned vivid over the closing three holes.

Garcia fully had to evaluate next to him to survey what extra or less ache the Stadium Path inflicted, even on a pristine day of superb sunshine and a delicate stride.

Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, opened with a double bogey from the timber. He hit two in the water on the 18th and made a quadruple-bogey 8. He injure up with a 79, his worst rating since his opening round at Royal Portrush in the 2019 British Delivery.

When darkness brought the first round to a discontinuance — 21 avid gamers didn’t finish — there already had been 13 ratings of 80 or elevated. That incorporated Henrik Stenson with an 85, his top rating ever on the PGA Tour.

There had been 22 ratings 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 17th hole.

The Spaniard feels gratified on a course that causes fear even in appropriate weather.

“For some motive, it factual extra or less matches my watch,” acknowledged Garcia, who gained The Gamers in 2008 and has twice been runner-up. “I survey what I desire to assemble heavenly powerful every hole, after which it’s a matter of doing it.”

Harman played in the afternoon and was inserting round par unless he began the lend a hand 9 with three straight birdies, shot 31 on the lend a hand and injure up with a 67.

British Delivery champion Shane Lowry took bogey on his closing hole for a 68 and was tied with Corey Conners and Matt Fitzpatrick. Bryson DeChambeau, coming off his victory final week at Bay Hill, had to exhaust somewhat off his driver on the par-5 16th and had 9-iron left, surroundings up a birdie-birdie-par finish to be half of the community at 69.

The dinky desire of fans — by Sawgrass standards — seen somewhat bit of every part.

It began early with McIlroy, who shot 43 on his opening 9 holes.

“The big number on 18 didn’t reduction after which doubling the first wasn’t purposeful, either,” he acknowledged. “It’s hard to recuperate while you happen to factual haven’t played appropriate. Whenever you happen to exhaust that 18th hole out, it light wasn’t a truly appropriate day.”

Stenson hit into the water on consecutive holes for a double bogey and a triple bogey. He attach two extra in the water, together with surely one of 18 balls in the water on the island-green 17th.

Three of those 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 combined to trip 29-over par. “Oh, what a bunch of muppets,” Poulter acknowledged.

Rickie Fowler had three double bogeys in his round of 77, leaving him at risk of missing the lower and likely missing out on the Dell Match Play in two weeks.

Dustin Johnson took double bogey on the par-5 11th and eagle on the par-5 16th in his round of 73. Jordan Spieth disregarded fully two fairways and had to identify for a 70.

Garcia’s lone bogey got here after in all chance his easiest shot. From the pine straw next to a tree left of the first fairway, he hooded an iron that got here out low and proper to left with ample crawl that it settled 25 ft away. And then he three-putted.

The most unheard of round may maybe maybe presumably contain belonged to Hoge, who managed to accumulate thru 18 holes with out a bogey.

“It was a appropriate, stable day, extra or less what you desire here on the Stadium Path,” Hoge acknowledged. “I haven’t been hitting it that successfully coming in here, so I factual tried to hit a great deal of greens and preserve out of bother for the most piece.”

Sebastian Munoz was at 4 below with one hole to play, that being the 18th, and a shot into the water led to a triple bogey for a 71. He tried to exhaust out the positives of 5 birdies, and that’s what makes this tournament so tough to predict. There are a great deal of birdies available. It doesn’t exhaust powerful to erase your complete appropriate work.

“You assemble contain a great deal of wedges to your hand,” Munoz acknowledged. “Par 5s are reachable. So yeah, we assemble contain loads extra chances than a typical course. But I imply, risk is around the corner on every hole.”

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Big finish sends Garcia to big lead at Gamers Championship