Surging Garcia thrives in Ryder Cup-style atmosphere

Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:51pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia has taken his fair share of bumps and bruises in his 18 appearances at the British Open but the love affair is still going strong after all these years, the Spaniard said on Thursday.

Garcia went close the last time golf's oldest major was played at Hoylake in 2006, tying for fifth spot, and closer still at Carnoustie a year later when he finished as runner-up to Padraig Harrington.

The Ryder Cup stalwart is still striving to shake off the unwanted tag of 'one of the best players never to win a major' and he took a step in the right direction with a four-under 68 in the opening round at Royal Liverpool.

"This championship, even through the tough years, is different for me," Garcia told reporters. "I love it so much.

"After the Ryder Cup it's my favorite tournament. You always come with a different frame of mind even if you're struggling a little bit."

Garcia said the atmosphere at the third major of the season was similar to that in the biennial match between Europe and the United States.

"I enjoy the people out there," the world number nine explained. "It almost feels like a Ryder Cup when people start shouting 'Come on lads' and things like that.

"You don't hear that often and it's good to hear."   Continued...

Sergio Garcia of Spain watches his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 17, 2014.      REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton