Garcia fires 61

European Tour

Sergio Garcia equaled the course record at Firestone to take a three shot lead at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The Spaniard carded a nine under 61 to equal Tiger Woods’ and Jose Maria Olazabal’s 61’s they shot in 2000 and 1990 respectively.

Garcia, who just had one birdie under his belt when he stepped onto the tenth tee, birdied the par four. He would par the eleventh, then put together an incredible run of seven birdies in a row to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

His putter was certainly working for him and the cherry on top was sinking a 22-footer for a three on the 18th.

“Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy, and you wish there were no end,” Garcia told Golf.com.

“I’ve been fortunate to have some good rounds but I think that was my lowest round in tournament play and also my lowest nine holes so it was very nice. I did get a little bit lucky on the front nine, I hit bad tee shots on four, eight and nine and got good breaks and was able to save par and that kept my round going.

“And then I started hitting the ball really well on the back nine, I hit two very close on 12 and 13 and kept giving myself chances and rolled it very nicely so I’m thrilled with it.”

The round puts him three strokes ahead of Justin Rose. The Englishman was one shot behind leader Marc Leishman after round one and was happy to card a second round 67.

“I’m feeling good about peaking at this time of the year,” said the South African-born golfer.

“Every week is big. You could argue a major championship in the middle of it all is the one you’d really love to peak for next week. But at the same time, there’s not a bad golf tournament now for about two months. Looking forward to the whole stretch.”

First round leader Leishman is tied for third place on seven under with Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman shot a six under 64 to move into contention.

Meanwhile, eight time winner at Firestone, Tiger Woods, struggled to find the fairway as he slumped to a 71 to leave him on one under for the tournament.

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