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Indians focused on game -10/2/2014, 10:22 AM

Area prep football district standings -10/2/2014, 10:21 AM

Chiefs' Donald Stephenson eager to get on field -10/2/2014, 10:21 AM

McFarland to start at QB for Monarchs -10/2/2014, 10:20 AM

Royals step up big -10/2/2014, 10:20 AM

Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Now comes the hard part for Garcia: Doing it again

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Now comes the hard part for Garcia: Doing it again

Published on -4/12/2013, 10:16 AM

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Sergio Garcia had an enjoyable day on a course that's never been one of his favorites.

The shots were true. The putter was steady. The score was good enough for the Masters lead.

Now comes the hard part: holding it together for another three days.

"We'll see what happens," Garcia said, sounding a bit apprehensive.

For the impetuous Spaniard, that's always been the conundrum. How can a golfer of such talent have gone this long without winning a major title? Why does he keep blowing it on golf's biggest stages?

Well, here he is again, sharing the top spot with Marc Leishman after a 6-under 66 Thursday, ripping up Augusta National with a performance that came with only one complaint: It could've been even better.

That it happened in the Masters was even more remarkable, considering this is the one major where Garcia has never been much of a factor.

"Obviously, it's not my most favorite place," he said. "We try to enjoy it as much as we can each time we come here. Sometimes it comes out better than others, but today is was one of those days. You know, let's enjoy it while it lasts."

In recent years, Garcia seemed resigned to the perception that time had passed him by -- even at the relatively young age of 33.

Until Thursday, he had not led in any round of a major since the British Open at Carnoustie in 2007, when he set the pace the first three days but lost -- of course -- to Padraig Harrington in a playoff.

That was the latest in a series of bitter disappointments, of close-but-no-cigar calls in every major championship but the Masters, where he has only two top-10 finishes in his previous 14 appearances.

Last year, he shot himself out of contention during a dismal third round and bluntly declared he just didn't have the game or temperament to win a major championship -- certainly not at Augusta.

"Maybe I didn't say it the right way because it was one of those frustrating moments," he conceded.

There was none of that frustration on the opening day of this Masters. The first 10 holes might've been as good as Garcia can play, a 5-under score he made look downright easy.

"If I manage to make a couple of putts that kind of stayed around the lip, I could have been probably 7- or 8-under par through 10," Garcia said. "It was that good."

We've seen this from him before, just not over the entire four days of a major.

That will be the big question when he teed this morning after heavy overnight rains soaked the course, perhaps setting up another day of low scores.

"Every time I tee it off, I try to play as well as I can, hope that my best that week is really, really good," he said. "My best was pretty good, and I'm looking forward to doing the same thing the next three days. It will be really nice."

Plenty of players took advantage of the gentle conditions.

Even an eighth-grader.

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China and youngest to compete in a major in 148 years, played well beyond his age. He holed a 15-foot putt from just off the 18th green for a respectable round of 73 and a reasonable chance of making the cut.

Tiger Woods wasn't far off as he began his quest for a fifth green jacket. Wild at the start, including a tee shot that knocked a cup of beer out of a spectator's hand, Woods settled into a groove and opened with a 70 as his girlfriend, Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn, watched on a few holes.

In his four Masters wins, Woods has never opened with a score lower than 70. His key is not to shoot himself out of the tournament.

"It's a good start," he said. "Some years, some guys shot 65 starting out here. But right now, I'm only four back and I'm right there."

Garcia and Leishman had a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, who has a game that fits perfectly for Augusta and he finally brought it. Johnson hit a 9-iron for his second shot on the par-5 13th and made a 15-foot eagle putt, and he smashed his drive on the par-5 15th and hit pitching wedge just through the green for an easy birdie.

Fred Couples, the 53-year-old wonder at his favorite major, made bogey on the 18th and still was in the large group at 68. There were a dozen rounds in the 60s, and nearly half the field shot par or better. Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson recovered from a rough start by running off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine to salvage a 71, while Rory McIlroy had a 72.

Woods said he struggled with the slower pace of the greens, and so did defending champion Bubba Watson, who opened with a 75.

"They're soft and they are slow, and consequently we have 45 people at par or better," Mickelson said. "But that means I've got to change my whole mindset and just get after these pins, because the ball's not running like it used to and I'm giving this course way too much respect because of my past knowledge."

It's not about respect for Garcia. Augusta National is the ultimate love-hate relationship, and Thursday was a rarity.

He loved it.

Garcia began his round with an approach that danced by the hole and left him a tap-in birdie. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie on the par-3 sixth, and then shot up the leaderboard with a pair of tough, downhill putts from 8 feet on the ninth and 15 feet on the 10th.

Will this be the week he finally -- FINALLY! -- breaks through?

Adam Scott, who is playing with Garcia the first two days, said it's never out of the question. Never mind that 0-for-57 mark in the majors.

"He's got more than potential to win any tournament he plays in," Scott said.

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