Stuart Anderson didn't need to hit the links to realize he wasn't at just any old tournament.
"When your locker is two down from Sergio Garcia's, it's a little different than playing the Canadian Tour," said the native Calgarian yesterday after the first round of the World Cup of Golf in Seville, Spain.
The unique surroundings had an impact on Anderson and playing partner Darren Griff of Nanaimo, B.C., who shot a 4-under 68 and sit tied with France for 17th spot, eight strokes back of the leaders.
Irish golfers Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley share the lead with the Austrian duo of Martin Wiegele and Markus Brier, who also shot 60 in the first best-ball portion of the 72-hole event.
England's Paul Casey and Luke Donald were one off the lead after a 61, followed by Japan's Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka (62) and Spain's Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez (63).
A daunting field, even without the likes of Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods or Mike Weir.
"It wasn't so much jitters. I think it was more excitement than jitters," said Anderson, who is ranked 743rd in the world. "It was more of being too pumped up, too anxious to play. I didn't feel nervous or jittery at all, I was more excited and had too much blood flowing through my system to execute.
"Any golf tournament, what it comes down to is putting and we were too aggressive with our putts and didn't make a whole lot. We'll just have to improve on that."
Today's format will switch to alternate shot, with the same sequence on the weekend.
"The tournament really starts (today). It's alternate shot, so if things don't go well for one guy, you're putting your partner in some tough positions," Anderson said.
Yesterday they bogeyed two of the four par-3s playing with the Scottish team of Alastair Forsyth/Scott Drummond. They also netted an eagle on the par-5 16th at the 7,134-yard Real Club de Golf de Sevilla.
"It's generous off the tee but around the greens, it's tough," said Anderson, whose father, John, has taken a vacation from his job with the City of Calgary to serve as his caddy.
Though a longshot to top the 24-team field, Anderson and Griff plan to climb the ladder before it's over.
"We're on the lower half of the board and there's not a whole lot of expectations on us going into an event with 20 of the top 30 players in the world, so we're just going to go out and give our best shot," Anderson said. "A top-10 finish would be good and a top-five would be outstanding."