With a sloppy double-bogey on the par 3 eighth hole Thursday, defending champion Sergio Garcia surrendered two strokes he knew he couldn't afford to lose in the first round of The Players Championship and closed with a 1-under-par 71.
No surprise that he was unhappy with how he finished. But it turns out he wasn't all that thrilled before he slapped it around on his penultimate hole.
"I know when I'm swinging well and when I'm not," said Garcia, the No. 3 player in the world, who hasn't finished higher than 13th on the PGA Tour this year. "I can feel like ... not smooth, my swing. I can't feel it going the right way. (It) feels like I'm trying to steer everything to make it go the right way, and it didn't go the right way today."
Garcia was asked if he knew what to do to fix it. "If I knew what to do, I would do it," he said.
Yes, the talented Spaniard is frustrated. But not knowing what to try next might be the most galling thing of all for someone who has played the game practically his whole life the way Garcia has. "I know it's in there somewhere," he said of his game. "At least I think it is. Right now, it's really hidden."
Reminded that there's always tomorrow, Garcia responded, "Heh, yeah, or next weekend."