FORT WORTH, Texas — If mirror shades bring good luck to one player enjoying success in middle-aged life, why wouldn’t they work for one who’s fast approaching it, right?
Sporting a pair of reflective sunglasses reminiscent of those often worn by 2021 PGA Championship victor Phil Mickelson, a bespectacled Sergio Garcia had a spectacular stretch during Thursday’s opening round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, using an eagle on the 11th hole to finish with a 63 and a spot atop the leaderboard with Jordan Spieth.
While the golf tournament at Colonial Country Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary, this year marked a milestone for Garcia as well — it’s been 20 years since he captured his first PGA Tour victory on this very course.
The part-time Texan, now 41 and a homeowner in nearby Austin, said he didn’t realize how long it had been since his initial win.
“I mean, I obviously knew that I won here in 2001 because it was my first PGA Tour win. But no, I didn’t think that it was my 20-year anniversary,” he said on Thursday. “I didn’t even think about that, now that you mention it. But it’s nice. It’s nice to go through those milestones, I guess, and it just shows me how long I’ve been out here and how fortunate I’ve been to be consistent throughout my career, touch wood, but obviously quite healthy.
“All those things I’m very proud to be a part of. I’m just excited to keep it going.”
Garcia had birdies on Nos. 8, 9 and 10, but found the bunker with his second shot on the par-5 11th, leaving himself more than 60 feet to the pin. That didn’t faze the Spaniard, however, as he holed out from the sand to pull within a shot of Spieth, who was in the early wave.
Garcia later birdied No. 15 and nearly took the lead on the final hole of the day, but a 15-foot birdie putt lipped out.
“Great round. I’m not going to lie; conditions weren’t easy. Obviously, because of the rain, the course wasn’t too firm, even though it firmed up nicely between yesterday and today,” he said.
“But yeah, it was quite breezy. It was gusty, so it wasn’t easy to pull some of the clubs. There were some tough holes out there, but I was able to hit really good shots on those holes, and a couple up-and-downs when I needed them, so very happy with the way it went.”
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