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Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 10:48 UK

Grip change inspires Sergio Garcia bid

Sergio Garcia
Garcia showed glimpses of his best having struggled for form recently

Sergio Garcia fired a first-round 67 to move into contention at the Verizon Heritage tournament in South Carolina, thanks partly to a change of grip.

The Spaniard is without a win since the 2008 Players Championship and could only place 45th at last week's Masters.

But after firing his best round since February, the 30-year-old said: "We are working on my game, it's taking time. When I work it out, I'll let you know."

It leaves Garcia in fourth, three shots behind leader KJ Choi on seven under.

Korea's Choi is continuing the fine form that saw him tie for fourth alongside Tiger Woods at Augusta National last Sunday.

His round of 64 included eight birdies and one bogey to take a two-shot lead over England's Greg Owen and Canada's Mike Weir.

Those three lay ahead of a pack of 13 on four under, including including five-time tournament winner Davis Love III and another American, Jerry Kelly, who recorded a hole-in-one at the 193-yard par-three fourth hole.

It means Garcia still has plenty of work to do to make the cut, but the former world number two is feeling better about his game following his grip change.


"I shot a decent round, and if I play half decent I should be able to make the cut tomorrow," he said.

"I thought about [the grip change] yesterday. It hasn't been feeling great. I've been having a lot of trouble with my right hand. So I went from the overlock to the interlock. It's quite a weaker grip. I lost a little distance.

"But at least it feels like I'm able to keep my arms and hands a little tighter. So we'll see what happens."

Englishman Owen, meanwhile, tops the Europeans on the list after carding eight birdies and two bogeys, while 2003 Masters champion Weir holed out from 144 yards for an eagle at the par-four first on his way to a 66.

World number seven Paul Casey's recent troubles continued, meanwhile, after three birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey saw him finish four over.

The Englishman was unable to defend his Shell Houston Open title two weeks ago because of a shoulder injury and he missed the cut at the Masters last week.

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see also
Mickelson seals third Masters win
11 Apr 10 |  Golf
Garcia worried about hand injury
29 Dec 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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