Garcia pleased by strong start

Sergio Garciaquoted 9/1 by Betfred in the 2013 Masters outright betting – has admitted that he has been extremely encouraged by his “best 10 holes” at Augusta after racing into a tie for the first round lead at the Masters.

The 33-year-old made almost the perfect start to the tournament, recording five birdies in his first 10 holes before picking-up an extra shot at the 15th to card a brilliant 66 and finish Thursday atop the leader-board alongside Australian Marc Leishman.

It’s all a far cry from this time last year, when the Spaniard famously said that he didn’t think he was ever going to be good enough to win a major, following a string of near misses.

However, he seems to be in a different place in 2013 and admits he was pleased with how he played in Thursdays opening round.

“What I’m going to try to take into my pillow tonight, it’s the first 10 holes. I think it’s without a doubt the best 10 holes I’ve played at the Masters,” he said. “Even though scoring-wise maybe it wasn’t, but the way I hit the ball and the amount of birdie chances that I gave myself, it was.

“The first 10 holes was amazing. I felt so good and hit so many great shots. Even though I was hitting four, five or six-iron into the greens, it felt like I was 10-15ft away all the time, and it’s hard to do that on this course.”

Elsewhere, American Dustin Johnson sits one shot off the lead, a single stroke clear of a group of six men including 2008 champion Trevor Immelman, while Tiger Woods (7/2 Masters Outright) looks poised to attack four strokes back.

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