Sergio Garcia a fan of this week's European Tour venue in Spain
Sergio Garcia says he would like to see more "short" courses like El Saler on the European Tour schedule.
Last Updated: 21/04/13 8:38pm
Garcia could only manage a level-par 72 in Thursday's opening round to lie four shots off the lead shared by Felipe Aguilar of Chile, France's Gary Stal and Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen.
But the world number 13 is still a fan of the part links, part parkland course, which at 7,052 yards is short by modern standards and almost 400 yards shorter than Augusta National, where Garcia was joint eighth in the Masters on Sunday.
"El Saler is a very good layout, maybe a bit short for the modern game, but if the wind blows and the greens are firm it becomes quite unforgiving," Garcia said. "Courses that are not that long can be a great challenge.
"Unfortunately we seem to be getting more and more long courses that allow you to miss everywhere, but 500-yard par fours are not the solution.
"Sometimes it's good to turn to courses like Valderrama or Sawgrass or this one that don't rely only on distance to be great courses."
Joint leader Aguilar set the early clubhouse target with his 68 and was never overtaken, with Ireland's David Higgins and Scotland's Craig Lee among those alongside Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano on three under.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, playing in his first tournament since breaking his leg while skiing last December, could only manage a 76.