Sergio Garcia needed a little assistance Thursday at The Open – and that was before he even arrived at the course.
Though he said he departed his rental house in plenty of time, Garcia ran into heavy traffic on his way to Royal St. George’s and needed a police escort to ensure that he arrived before his tee time.
Garcia had a 10:31 a.m. local time start Thursday, and he prefers to get to the course about 90 minutes early to get in a proper warmup. Because of the traffic around town, however, he said he only had a little more than a half hour to get ready.
“I needed a little bit of help from a couple very nice English policemen on the bikes to get me here with only about 35, 40 minutes to tee off,” he said. “I don’t know, we just got stuck. We couldn’t move, and thankfully they helped us a little bit and got us here in time. I was able to do a very quick practice, very quick warmup, but it worked out OK because I played nicely.”
The rushed warmup didn't seem to affect Garcia, who made three birdies in his first eight holes and carded a 2-under 70. He’s just four shots off the lead.
Garcia had posted three consecutive top-20 finishes entering The Open but he’s had a difficult time in the majors since his breakthrough at the 2017 Masters. Prior to a T-19 at last month’s U.S. Open, Garcia hadn’t finished better than 37th in a major since 2017.