Sergio Garcia’s chances of winning the Open Championship over the years have been shackled by a variety of reasons; a cold putter, a poor draw, bad luck, some dreadful clothing and poor form. Now we can add a gorse bush to the list.

While he now has his major victory the Open is the one that gives the 37-year-old his best opportunity of success due to his superior ball striking, creativity and love of seaside golf. But lesson one in the guide to links success is patience and Garcia showed none of it as he attacked a gorse bust at the 4th hole.

The Masters champion, who gets married next weekend, found himself under the prickly stuff at the par 3 and, off balance, took a back-handed swipe after chipping out.

And then spent the next few holes in obvious pain, had to receive some on-course treatment and there was the possibility of maybe withdrawing.

“Obviously I am not happy about it because I almost screwed up my British Open. Fortunately for me I didn’t. But obviously it’s not what you want to do. But sometimes you’re out there and you’re trying your hardest, and when you can’t do it, it gets a little frustrating. We’ve all had those moments,” explained Garcia.

Incredibly Garcia eagled the very next hole, whistling a driver through the back of the 5th green and then holing a putt, and he somehow managed a 69 and what will be one of a few under-par efforts in the gusts of Friday.

Sergio Garcia

After some Ibuprofen things improved and Garcia will spend some time working on the problem. Bizarrely he also has his right index finger taped up after a paper cut earlier in the week.

“It took a good amount of pills to make it feel better and a little bit of treatment. And it’s warm at the moment. So I want to see how it feels tonight. But I’m going to go to the physio track and make sure I get some work on it because it still feels a little bit sore around it. So we’ll see. Hopefully it will be fine.

“It didn’t feel good because I hit it backwards and I was in a very weak position. It didn’t feel good at all.”

For more from Royal Birkdale, check out our dedicated Open site.