Positive thinking helps Garrigus flourish at Riviera

Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:37pm EST
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Robert Garrigus, energized by the power of positive thinking, banished memories of previous struggles at Riviera Country Club as he charged up the Northern Trust Open leaderboard on Thursday.

In four previous starts at the revered venue, Garrigus had broken par only once while never finishing better than joint 51st but he transformed that for the better on a glorious, sun-splashed day as he fired a four-under 67 in the opening round.

"I completely changed my attitude," American Garrigus told reporters when asked what had made the difference for him at a PGA Tour event where he has twice missed the cut and withdrew in 2012 after opening with a 79.

"I just stopped telling myself that I hated this place, so to speak. I convinced myself this is my favorite golf course of the year and I tell you what, this is the best shape I've ever seen it.

"The greens are rolling unbelievably good, and you don't usually see that on poa annua (grass). So with my attitude and the way the course has shaped up, everything worked out good today."

POSITIVE MINDSET

Garrigus, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic, shrugged off a bogey on his opening hole, the par-five first, by maintaining his positive mindset to finish one stroke off the early lead.

"I really wasn't too upset because I didn't hit a bad shot and I just got a bad break," he said of his third shot at the first where he failed to escape a greenside bunker.   Continued...

 
Robert Garrigus of the U.S. tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the 2013 PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York August 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes