Garcia pleased with start

European Tour

Sergio Garcia impressed with an opening round of 68 at The Open Championship.

The Spaniard carded a four under round with five birdies and bogey to leave him two shots off the pace, following Rory McIlroy’s 66.

Garcia has twice finished second in Major championships and is still on the hunt for his maiden Major win after 15 years on the tour.

One of those second place finishes came in 2007 when he lost in a playoff to Padraig Harrington at Canoustie.

“I’m obviously very pleased,”said the 34-year-old, who chipped in for a birdie on the eleventh.

“Every time you start a major championship and an Open with a four under, you’ve got to be pleased with it.

“It would be nice to put myself in a position to have a solid chance on Sunday, like I did a couple of times, and like I did in 2006 here.

Despite the cavernous bunkers and unforgiving rough, Garcia loves the challenge of links golf.

“Even on the tough years this championship, it’s different to me,” he added.

“I love it so much. After the Ryder Cup it’s my favourite tournament to play. You always come with a different frame of mind here, even if you’re struggling little bit.

“I enjoy the people out there. It almost kind of feels like a Ryder Cup, when people start shouting, ‘Come on, lads!’ and things like that. Those are things that you don’t hear that often and it’s good to hear this week.”

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