BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Maybe Sergio Garcia realized he was an idiot for only playing one late practice round at a much-changed Torrey Pines before the U.S. Open. Maybe it finally dawned on Garcia that if Tiger Woods still spent five days out on Torrey Pines, examining all the USGA's tweaks again and again, even though his knee wasn't right, that Garcia's own major prep is sorely lacking.
Then again, maybe Garcia's just inspired by being back at Oakland Hills, the course where he won 4 and 1/2 out of a possible five points for the European team in the 2004 Ryder Cup.
Whatever the reason, Garcia is taking this PGA Championship much more seriously than he seemed to take that Torrey Open. The Spaniard played multiple practice rounds at Oakland Hills, even went out early in the morning one day to see the conditions then, something Garcia doesn't do that often in practice rounds (he's an afternoon guy).
So far in today's first round, the PGA prep seems to be paying off. Garcia is even through 13 holes, playing with the PGA's hip grouping of Anthony Kim (even par) and Camilo Villegas (1-under). That's a far cry from the U.S. Open when Garcia shot a 5-over 76 in the first round, basically robbing himself of a chance in the tournament before he really learned the course.
Think Sergio will decide this is more than coincidence?