Sergio Garcia among three co-leaders at LIV Golf Miami

golf05 April 2024 23:29| © Reuters
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Sergio Garcia © Gallo Images

Sergio Garcia of Spain shot a bogey-free, 5-under 67 to grab a share of the lead at LIV Golf Miami after the first round on Friday at Trump National Doral.

Garcia, Talor Gooch and Peter Uihlein head into the weekend with a one-shot lead on four players at 4-under 68 – Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, South Africa's Dean Burmester and Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent.

Garcia, 44, was one of the first players to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf in 2022, but he has yet to win on his new circuit. He lost a playoff at the season opener at Mayakoba to Chile's Joaquin Niemann.

"I've just got to keep giving myself chances. It's as simple as that," said Garcia, who birdied three of his final five holes. "I think that some weeks you feel better than others, and I've been close a couple of times. Obviously a couple of times very close, and then another three or four times I've been fairly close, around the lead."

With Garcia one of 13 LIV players headed to Augusta National next week for the Masters, it isn't a bad time to find form.

"Obviously if you play nicely, it gives you a little bit of confidence for sure, but every week is different, and you never know how Augusta is going to play, the conditions you're going to get," Garcia said. "Augusta is very, very tricky, and it can be a little bit tough to swallow sometimes. Just got to keep your feet on the ground, and even if you win this week, you've got to go out there with your feet on the ground and just try to do the best possible."


Gooch does not have an exemption into the Masters, but the outspoken golfer said he's done trying to "influence people" with his words.

"I'm going to keep doing what I did last year. Even though it didn't work, I'm going to keep trying to shoot good scores," Gooch said. "The rule of 67 worked today and I'm going to keep trying to shoot as many 67s as I can and eventually all of that will take care of itself."

Uihlein's team, RangeGoats GC, earned a healthy lead in the team competition as Uihlein's 67 combined with the 68s from Wolff and captain Watson. At 13 under, they're five shots ahead of Jon Rahm's Legion XIII.

"Played really well, putted nice and just kind of felt like I was just kind of plotting my way around there, which was good," Uihlein said. "Wedged it close a few times and took advantage of holes that I had when I had the opportunity."

Rahm, the defending Masters champion, opened his week with a 3-under 69, part of a large tie for eighth that includes fellow major champs Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed.