SINGAPORE: Masters champion Sergio Garcia got his 2018 campaign off to a good start at the Singapore Open on Thursday, firing a five-under-par 66 to share the lead.
Garcia, who began a spectacular 2017 in Singapore last year, began slowly but picked up the pace around the turn, and fired an eagle and four birdies in his first tournament of the year.
The Spaniard, who won his first Major victory at Augusta last April and was named 2017 European Golfer of the Year, ended the day tied for the top spot with American Kurt Kitayama.
World number 10 Garcia converted an 18-inch birdie putt at the par-three 17th, then eagled a par-five 18th from three feet.
He fired a birdie at the second hole, then picked up another shot at the par-five fourth.
“I’ll probably chill a little bit. I did a lot of things right, but I still have lots to work on. I’ll try to stay cool, have a nice dinner and get ready for tomorrow,” the 38-year-old said.
“This is a great tournament to start the year with.”
Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was threatening to share the lead before play was suspended due to lightning risk with a five-under-par through 16 holes at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course.
Seventy-eight players have yet to complete round one. Play will resume early Friday.
Kitayama shot six birdies and was bogey-free for 17 holes before dropping a stroke at his final hole of the day.
Fellow American Casey O’Toole shot the first ace of the 2018 season on the Asian and Japan Tours.
O’Toole, Koumei Oda of Japan and former Singapore Open champion Jyoti Randhawa of India carded matching 68s to share second place.