Thursday, 19 October 2017
Pablo Larrazábal  (Getty Images)
Pablo Larrazábal (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia and Joost Luiten fired rounds of 66 to share the lead at five under after day one of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Here, we take a look at what some of the chasing pack had to say after their opening efforts.

 Pablo Larrazábal (67, -4)

"Believe it or not it's been a tough one today. It started very badly, hitting the ball very poorly. On the first hole I had to lay up with my second shot and I made a good bogey. Then I hit a driver into the woods by about 60 or 70 metres. Then I made a great par straight after that and started hitting it a little bit better. My first birdie came on the ninth and from then on I played great golf. Today was both sides of my golf. I know this golf course and I know everyone is going to make mistakes and everyone is going to make bogeys but if you stay patient and hang in there, don't make too many mistakes and keep it going, you're going to get a lot of birdie chances if you play well. I've been playing well the last few months even though I've only played two weekends all summer. But I've been believing in what I'm doing."

Robert Rock (67, -4)

"I wanted to stop when I was six under, it's going to be hard to keep it at six under with this closing stretch to play and I'm fully aware of how difficult 13, 14, 15 and 16 are. I hit a terrible iron shot into the green on 14, it was on the green but I knew the putt I'd left myself was almost a guaranteed three-putt. I bailed out on the second shot and it cost me, you've got to be a little bit braver than that. On 15 I hit an okay tee-shot but it's always a tricky up-and-down and that's two gone in the space of five minutes. Scrambled a par on the last which was nice. Having been six under - I'd have still been happy finishing three under - but four under is good so I'm happy with that. Once you start to see it slip away you feel like you can bogey every hole and that's not a good feeling starting tomorrow so it was a nice 20-foot putt on the last to make a par."

Andrew Johnston (69, -2)

"I've played well on both nines. I holed a few long putts early on in my round and at the 17th for birdie as well, and I didn't hole many on my back nine but I played really solid, kept the ball in play, hit it into some decent spots and didn't get into too much trouble so I was really happy. It was a great group with Sergio (Garcia) and Shane (Lowry), such good guys, and it's great playing with Sergio. He's such a good player and when you play with him I think it can help your game too so I really enjoyed playing with him. I found the front nine greens a bit slower than the back nine greens so I just have to be a bit wary of that tomorrow. They were a touch slower and I left a few short in the jaw so hopefully I can get the speed a bit better and just put them in the same positions as I did today, and hopefully I can hit it as well as I did today."

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