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Sergio Opens Strong Despite Bizarre Duck Dilemma

It might be the most bizarre question ever asked in a golf press conference but it didn’t appear to distract Masters champion Sergio Garcia.

The Spaniard is teeing up in the lucrative Italian Open this week, his first appearance both in that nation and in the European Tour’s newly created Rolex Series of mega purse events.

A 5-under 66 at the Golf Club Milano has Garcia just two off the pace in what has been a big week both on and off the course, a split with long-time equipment sponsor TaylorMade followed by news he and wife Angela Akins are expecting their first child in March.

But it was the last question of his Wednesday press conference that intrigued, Garcia handling the odd-ball query with surprisingly good grace.

Having just answered a sensible enquiry about his parting ways with TaylorMade after 15 years, Garcia was asked, for no obvious reason, the following:

“Would you rather fight one elephant-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized elephants?”

Perhaps he was still pondering the conundrum Thursday when he made his only bogey of the opening round at the 13th hole.

The blemish came among six birdies and sees Garcia trailing the group of six first round co-leaders by two strokes.

Among those at the top are defending champion and local hero Francesco Molinari and Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

England’s Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace are also at that mark, as is Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Swede Alexander Bjork.

They are one ahead of South Africa’s George Coetzee and Korea’s Ben An with Garcia one of eight players sharing ninth a further stroke back.

Sam Brazel and Marcus Fraser lead the Australian charge in the US$7 million tournament at 4-under and sharing 17th, two ahead of Wade Ormsby (T49) and three better than Nathan Holman, Jason Scrivener and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox (T67).

Only 40 players failed to break par in the opening round, Brett Rumford and Andrew Dodt among them with even par rounds of 71 each.

But what of Garcia and his duck dilemma? Given the bizarre nature of the question the Spaniard was surprisingly expansive with his answer.

“Yeah, that's like would you rather be three feet tall or nine-foot tall,” he began, apparently chuckling according to the transcript.

“I don't know. I'd probably go for one-on-one, even if it's bigger. You know, fighting a hundred, I think the odds are worse.

“So you know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall I guess.”


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