AUGUSTA, Ga. – Sergio Garcia appears to be guarding his heart.
The Spaniard is all too aware of how Augusta National has spurned his advances in the past.
He knows how major championships in general have toyed with his affections, but his relationship with the Masters is especially tumultuous.
That’s why he isn’t getting carried away with the 4-under-par 68 he shot Thursday to start the Masters.
“It would be nice to play well again tomorrow and put up a really good score, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, anywhere, and on this golf course, a little less, because I know my relationship with it is not the best,” Garcia said. “I need to go slowly.”
Garcia might be the best player in the game today without a major championship victory. He has finished fifth or better 10 times in majors.
Two years ago, Garcia seized a share of the first-round lead at the Masters opening with a 66. He ended up tying for eighth. A year before that, he was a shot off the lead going into the weekend and shot himself out of contention with a 75. That bad day left him muttering to himself and open microphones.
“I’m not good enough,” Garcia said that year. “I don’t have the thing I need. I need to play for second or third place.”
In ’09, he entered the weekend in contention only to shoot himself out of the Masters with a 74 and 75. That left him saying the course “wasn’t fair” and was “too tricky.” He apologized, but it all remains part of his tumultuous history here.