Garcia looking at home in Valderrama

Tournament host Sergio Garcia and Joost Luiten hold a one-shot lead after the first round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

Garcia, winner of the previous staging of this event six years ago, made an excellent start in his pursuit of a sixth European Tour title on home soil - and a 14th in total - by carding a five-under 66 at Real Club Valderrama on Thursday.

The Masters champion hit the turn in 32 after starting on the 10th and took his tally of birdies to seven in his opening round, dropping shots at the first and the eighth.

Garcia said: "I'm very happy with my round. The game was on pretty much all day. I hit my irons very well, I didn't drive the ball well on the eighth hole but I was pretty much spot on there and I made some nice putts here and there.

"The greens were rolling quite fast, more than anything the back nine was even faster than the front. Overall I think it was very solid."

Dutchman Luiten was level par through 11 holes after also getting under way on the back nine, but birdied five of his last seven holes to take a share of the lead.

Pablo Larrazabal also made a promising start in his homeland, signing for a four-under 67 to sit just a shot off the pace along with Robert Rock.

Paul Peterson of the United States is just two shots adrift of the leading duo, while Andrew Johnson - who won the Real Club Valderrama Open de Espana on the same course last year - is among 10 players on two under.


Read Full Story