On Thursday morning, Sergio Garcia was one of several former Masters champions to tee it back up at Augusta National.
Garcia, who won the Masters in 2017 in a playoff against Justin Rose, struggled to find success during his first round on Thursday. The Spanish star shot a four-over, 76 and sits 11 shots off the lead.
Following his tough round, Garcia had a brutally honest comment about how he felt.
“I fought hard, but I feel like I just came out of the ring with Evander Holyfield, like a 12-round match,” he said. “I need to go home and rest.”
Garcia was hardly the only one who felt that way. Brooks Koepka, who is just one month removed from knee surgery, also noted how tough the course played in the first round.
Here’s what he said, via ESPN:
“It can get pretty dicey out here if you put it in the wrong spot the way these greens are. Maybe late Sunday afternoon you see them this firm. Monday [during practice] it kind of looked like what it does normally on a Saturday, late Saturday afternoon, Sunday.
“There’s not much grass on a couple of those greens. On the back of [No.] 6, there’s no grass. And [No.] 9, I don’t know if there is grass.”
Koepka had surgery to re-attach his kneecap just last month. He didn’t let that stop him from competing at the year’s first major.
He ended his round with a two-over, 74.
Augusta showed its teeth on Thursday. To everyone not named Justin Rose, that is. After losing in a playoff to Garcia in 2017, Rose is well-positioned to make another run at the Green Jacket after firing a seven-under, 65.
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