The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 12, 2013

Now comes the hard part for Garcia: Doing it again

(Continued)

He loved it.

Garcia began his round with an approach that danced by the hole and left him a tap-in birdie. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie on the par-3 sixth, and then shot up the leaderboard with a pair of tough, downhill putts from 8 feet on the ninth and 15 feet on the 10th.

Will this be the week he finally — FINALLY! — breaks through?

Adam Scott, who is playing with Garcia the first two days, said it's never out of the question. Never mind that 0-for-57 mark in the majors.

"He's got more than potential to win any tournament he plays in," Scott said.

Garcia will admit he sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him, which is not exactly the way to deal with trying to hold yourself together over four of the sport's most stressful days.

But Scott doesn't think for a minute that Garcia has given up on the idea of winning a major title.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and I'm sure that's how he felt at the time he said it," the Aussie said. "So I think it's a bit of a throwaway line. I don't think he's living by that at all."

Garcia struggled off the tee on the back nine, and he three-putted for par at the 13th. He also made tough par saves on the 11th and 17th for his first bogey-free round at the Masters since 2002.

"The last eight holes mean a lot that I kept my composure, even though I didn't hit it as well as I did the first 10 holes," he said.

Composure is everything to Garcia, who still acts like a kid. Only three weeks ago, he hit a tee shot at Bay Hill that settled on a large branch in a tree. Garcia climbed the tree, played a remarkable backhanded shot to the fairway and then jumped some 10 feet to the ground.

He needed no such escapes on Day 1 at Augusta.

Now, if he can just hold it together for three more days.

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