Garcia has liked TPC Sawgrass 'all the way'


Sergio Garcia entered this week's Players Championship as the main attraction following last month's Masters win. So far, he has answered the call.

Disregarding a shaky stretch out of the gate Thursday, Garcia has remained one of the hottest players in the world after a five-under 67 at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday.

The famed course gave players fits in round three due to tricky pin locations and heavy wind gusts, but Garcia made six birdies, an eagle and three bogeys to get back in contention heading into Sunday's Mother's Day finish - four shots adrift of leaders Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes.

Garcia has peppered Players Championship leaderboards throughout his career, including a win in 2008. Not everyone likes TPC Sawgrass right off the bat, but the Spanish veteran has always found the course appealing.

"I liked it all the way," Garcia said. "I liked it since 2000 I think was the first year I played it and I liked it.

"I didn't play as well as I would have liked to the first maybe the first couple of years, but then when I saw -- once I started learning how to play the course better and stuff, it definitely helped out, and because of that I've been fortunate to be very successful here."

Garcia elaborated by saying he feels comfortable on the course.

"I just like the golf course," he added. "I've told you guys many, many times it's one of my most favorited golf courses we play all year, and for some reason I can see what I want to do. Obviously there's a couple tee shots here and there that are a little bit uncomfortable, but I see what I want to do and I can see most of my reads quite well and I just feel comfortable on it. So it usually helps to play better."

Some feared Garcia might be rusty after taking over a month off following his Masters win, but he never worried about his form.

"I practiced for a solid two weeks [in between the Masters and Players]," he said. "I didn't feel rusty game wise, I felt rusty probably head wise. I felt like there were a lot of thoughts going in my head, and the first day I was still thinking about the Masters and everything that has been going on, and so it was, like I said earlier, it was important to shoot a decent round.

"I mean, obviously to have the finish that I had on Thursday and then shoot a solid round yesterday, make the cut, and then kind of free up a little bit today and play a little bit more like I was playing the week of the Masters."