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Dublin: 21°C Sunday 13 June 2021

Sergio Garcia thanks fans after 'difficult' week

The Spaniard got plenty of support at Wentworth after his Tiger Woods racism row.

SERGIO GARCIA MOVED into BMW PGA Championship contention on Saturday and thanked the Wentworth fans.

The Spaniard headed into the tournament under a cloud after the “fried chicken” comments he made concerning world number one Tiger Woods. The two players fell out again at the recent Players Championship with Garcia apologising for the comments he made on the eve of this week’s event.

The 33-year-old shot a classy four-under 68 on Saturday to move four shots behind leader and compatriot Alejandro Canizares. In terms of the fan reaction, he said: “It’s getting better every day, there’s no doubt everybody has made it so much easier for me.

“The crowds here, I don’t have words to explain what I feel towards them. They have been amazing, every single tee, every single green, cheering me on, and I can never pay them back.”

Fellow Ryder Cup player and friend Lee Westwood underlined to Garcia how much the fans had got behind him over the furore. Garcia added: “I think Lee was playing behind on Thursday and he said to me, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever heard a roar like that for anybody going on to the first tee here’. That was very nice.

“I love playing here and I love playing in the UK. I’ve always said it, in my mind, these are the best crowds we have.”

The one-time teenage prodigy has not played the event since 2000, however it looks like he will return after the reception this week.

He revealed: “I would love to, for sure, come back as many times as possible. I hit a lot of good shots today, but I didn’t really putt that well. I’m struggling a little with the pace of the greens.”

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