Garcia slams Abu Dhabi conditions as too rough

Sergio Garcia foresees more players suffering injuries in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship after yesterday labelling the rough as “dangerous.”

Garcia suffered a shoulder injury in the pre-tournament pro-am and then aggravated the problem further when hitting from the thick rough. The Spaniard required treatment from a European Tour physio for three holes.

Garcia, 34, will receive more treatment before making a decision on whether or not to continue in the event after badly struggling to an opening 76 that left him nine shots off the lead shared by England’s Matthew Baldwin, France’s Romain Wattel and fellow Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Rory McIlroy took to the greens and backed up his promise of having a much-improved season in 2014 by returning a flawless 70, while Open Champion Phil Mickelson shot a surprisingly uncharacteristic 73 with 17 straight pars and one bogey.

“The problem is they have cut it from green to tee and the ball nestles down,” explained a frustrated Garcia. “Every single ball nestles down and you can’t hit it 100 yards.

“I have tweaked a muscle and hitting from the rough is not helping. Hopefully, I am the only one (who gets hurt), but unfortunately the way the course is set up it could happen to more people.”

When asked whether he believed the rough was dangerous, he said: “I would say so.”