After a 15 year absence Sergio Garcia is again at Kapalua. Following a rough start, by the end of Round One he is in that tight group two strokes from the lead, behind Justin Thomas and Harris English.
Sergio won the Tournament of Champions in 2002, just under twenty years ago. The last time he played here was in 2006, when he came in 7th. Since then, much has changed. He is now a family man with a wife and two children. In 2017 he won the Masters.
The reason for his long absence from TOC is that he was playing more for the European Tour and would be in places such as Abu Dhabi, eg, at this time of year.
The pandemic changed his course. He himself contracted Covid in November. Then, with the looming possibility of lockdowns, he was unable to visit his parents in Spain. He was eligible to compete in this year's TOC following his win in Jackson, and the beautiful island of Maui drew him to return. Read more at Golf Digest.
How it felt to play again: “Yeah, obviously a little nervy early on, I guess, a couple missed shots and a couple missed putts. But the chip-in for eagle on 5 definitely settled me down a little bit and I started hitting it, trusting myself a little bit more, hitting a lot of good shots, hitting a lot of good putts and making a few in there,” Garcia said.