By Brian Wacker
PEBBLE BEACH — What does Sergio Garcia think about his chances of winning the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach?
“I don’t think I have much of a chance of winning this week the way I’m feeling,” the 39-year-old Spaniard groused after his opening round on Thursday. “I did hit some really nice shots. I also hit some shots that, I don’t know, looked like a 25 handicapper.”
Never mind that Garcia carded a two-under 69 and sits just three strokes off the lead.
That was better than Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, and Lucas Bjerregaard. Garcia thinks he had a rough day? Bjerregard made an 11 on the 18th hole.
Still, he persisted.
Garcia called his feelings about his game coming into the week “horrible.”
True, he missed three of his last four cuts before the U.S. Open. But he also has a half-dozen top 10s this year, which included a tie for fourth at last month’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Asked if he could expand on those feelings, Garcia said, “I mean, I can say it louder, but not clearer.”
“This game doesn’t feel good at the moment,” he continued while adding that he WAS happy with his score. “It just doesn’t feel smooth. It doesn’t — you know, it’s not like I know exactly if I miss the shot I know exactly where I’m going to miss it or anything like that.
“When you’re not sure which way you’re going to miss, it’s a little bit more challenging.”
It didn’t help any, either, that he missed a four-footer for par on the last.
This isn’t the first time Garcia has gone on a rant — in 2012 he said wasn’t good enough to ever win the Masters and that he needed to play for second or third. Five years later he slipped his arms into the green jacket.
“You know, the planets have aligned before,” Garcia said Thursday. “If they do again, and it helps me, then it’s a good thing.”