Twenty years on from first PGA Tour win, can Sergio Garcia triumph again at Colonial?

The Spaniard won for the first time in America at the Forth Worth course in 2001 and a 7-under-par 63 gave him a share of the first round lead with Jordan Spieth.

Like everyone, a lot has changed over the last 20 years for Sergio Garcia.

Back in 2001 he was a whippet-thin 21-year-old and it was not long since he'd introduced himself to the world by hitting a brilliant shot from the roots of a tree at the 1999 PGA Championship, then bounded after it like Ed Moses doing a lap at the LA Coliseum.

Now, he is 41, the proud father of two children and the owner of a Green Jacket.

So much change and also one factor that stays the same: the Spaniard is an enigma.

Twenty years ago he rocked up at Colonial Country Club seeking to break a two year win drought and he did it in style, claiming a first win on the PGA Tour in the process.

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This year, in contrast, he might have been forgiven for just wanting to play at the weekend.

He hadn't done that at the Masters. Or The Heritage. Or the Byron Nelson. Or the PGA Championship last week.

The first and last of those efforts, of course, came in Major Championships and Garcia has become used to leaving them early.

His weekend off at Kiawah Island was his sixth in a row at the PGA Championship and in 15 appearances since winning the Masters he's made just four cuts with not one top 20 finish.

On the other hand, there was, at the start of this week, something familiar about his recent form.

Back in October, he arrived at the Sanderson Farms Championship with form that read MC-66-MC-MC, with the first and last results both Majors.

Not quite as bad as this week, but very nearly - he made that one cut by just a shot.

His response? A first victory in America since the Masters in 2017.

And, with an error-free 7-under-par 63 to open the Charles Schwab Challenge, he has set himself up for a repeat dose.

One eagle and five birdies vaulted him into a share of the first round lead with Jordan Spieth, two blows clear of Jason Kokrak and Erik Compton.

The omens stretch further than the eerie form echo: it was his lowest score on the PGA Tour since he opened the AT&T Byron Nelson with a 63 in 2016 - and he went on to claim that title.

It's also, of course, exactly 20 years since he landed that first win.

He's rated a 13/2 shot by Bet365. Let's take a closer look at his record at Colonial and what he said after the round.

Garcia at Colonial

Typical Sergio.

He won the tournament the first time he played it and then? Hasn't made a top 10 since.

In all, he's played the course nine times, missing the cut four times including last year.

Before that, however, he did tie together a run of three consecutive top 20s with a best of T12th in 2017.

Keep an eye on what he does on Friday because he's just 2-for-9 at going sub-70 in round two and four times he's needed at least 73 blows (you could oppose him at Bet365 with a round two match-up against Jason Kokrak priced 20/23).

As you might expect from such a fine ball-striker, he's had good Greens in Regulations numbers here in the past and the 77.8% he hit in round one is on par with the year he won.

Spieth the big threat

Spieth is 7/4 favourite with Bet365 and for good reason.

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He's played the tournament eight times in the past, landed seven top 15 finishes including two seconds and victory in 2016.

He's also got five top four finishes in his last 10 starts.

Garcia on his 63

"Great round. I'm not going to lie, conditions weren't easy, obviously because of the rain, the course wasn't too firm, even though it firmed up nicely between yesterday and today.

"It was quite breezy, gusty, so it wasn't easy to pull some of the clubs. There were some tough holes out there, but I was able to hit really good shots on those holes, and a couple up-and-downs when I needed them, so very happy with the way it went."

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On the 20th anniversary

"Winning here in 2001, it was my first PGA Tour win. I hadn't thought it was the 20th anniversary, but now that you mention it ... It's nice to go through those milestones, I guess, and it just shows me how long I've been out here and how fortunate I've been to be consistent throughout my career and, touch wood, obviously quite healthy. All those things I'm very proud to be a part of. I'm just excited to keep it going."

On getting older and wiser

"I'm obviously not 21 any more. I'm 41. But I'm excited. I'm excited about what's happening in my game. I'm excited about where I am. I'm excited about who I'm with, sponsors-wise and equipment-wise. I'm excited about having a family and a couple of kids and different worries that you have from where you were at 21. But they're all amazing, and we're enjoying them and learning as much as we can as we go."

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