Sergio Garcia caught fire early on Friday morning at the Players Championship as he birdied eight of his last 12 holes. Only a bogey on No. 1 (Garcia started on the back nine) kept him from tying the course record of 30 on the front nine.
Here's a look at his very red scorecard:
When his round was over, Garcia found himself at 11 under and the clubhouse leader by one over Tiger Woods. There's a lot of golf left to be played, but Garcia will likely be paired in one of the final few groups on Saturday.
Garcia has owned this course recently -- he has three top 10 finishes (including a win) in his last 10 appearances here and is the Players Championship's all-time money leader.
He said something after his round that bodes well for him for the weekend:
"I played better on the (first) nine than I did on the back."
If you're going to play "worse" on your second nine holes and drop 31s all over the place, well, you're probably going to be in the thick of things on Saturday and Sunday.
As the Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner pointed out, Garcia's success has been due to his consistency on the greens through his first 36 holes:
Leader Sergio Garcia is 30 or 32 from inside 10 feet this week. Has that sentence ever been typed? #ThePlayers— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) May 10, 2013
Garcia won't fade this weekend. He knows this course too well for that. He told Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel as much after his round:
Sergio Garcia tells me the TPC Sawgrass reminds him of playing at home at Valderrama. He loves the lines.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) May 10, 2013
It sure would be fun to watch Woods try to make Garcia wilt on Saturday and Sunday, though. If the afternoon wind picks up at TPC Sawgrass (as it usually does), we might get an opportunity to see those two paired together again.
And that's always good theater.