June 16, 2017 / 8:48 PM / 6 months ago

Garcia hoping Erin Hills gets harder, faster

ERIN, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Masters champion Sergio Garcia said he was happy to be in the hunt at the U.S. Open and that his chances of adding a second successive major would improve if the course toughened up in the upcoming rounds.

Jun 16, 2017; Erin, WI, USA; Sergio Garcia watches his putt on the 18th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Spaniard posted a one-under 71 in Friday’s second round for a three-under-par total of 141 as the afternoon wave of players were beginning their rounds at Erin Hills.

“I think the greens are getting U.S. Open-like, but not as firm as they’re going to get if we don’t get any rain,” Garcia said about the course that allowed a record number of sub-par scores in the first round after rain soaked the layout earlier in the week.

“I’ve always liked when a course plays tougher. Obviously my game is on when the course is playing tougher. I think I have a little bit of an advantage,” he added.

“You have to be more on when it gets like that because if not, then you’re going to struggle. We’ll see. We can’t control Mother Nature.”

Garcia, who waited nearly two decades to notch his first major title at Augusta, would be halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam should he prevail at Erin Hills.

No one has accomplished such a feat since Bobby Jones swept the U.S. and British Opens and Amateurs, the four biggest events of his day, in 1930.

“To be three under par with a chance on the weekend, I‘m proud of that,” said Garcia. “I’ve got to keep the confidence going, keep the momentum and see if we can have a good weekend and have a chance on Sunday.”

Editing by Gene Cherry

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