A two-year-old Austin Connelly pictured with Sergio Garcia in 1999
Last Updated: 14/10/17 6:29pm
Austin Connelly was delighted to have the opportunity to play alongside Sergio Garcia in the third round of the Italian Open, 18 years after the pair first met!
Connelly's mother tweeted a picture of the pair from the 1999 GTE Byron Nelson Classic in Texas, which was Garcia's first tournament as a professional, and the Canadian was just two years old at the time.
The Spaniard was impressed at Connelly's ability to hit flop shots by one of the practice greens, and he was happy to pose for a picture with the toddler before heading to the first tee.
And Garcia, who was the leading amateur at the Masters the previous month, got his pro career off to a great start as he opened with a round of 62 before going on to finish in a tie for third place.
The tweet from Connelly's mother, Bridget, produced a raft of responses, including one from Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn who admitted: "I feel so old", while Garcia attempted to console the Dane by claiming the picture was taken only five years ago!
But both Connelly and Garcia endured frustrating third rounds in Monza, with the Masters champion missing a series of birdie chances in a 70 which included a late eagle at 14, one bogey and 16 pars as he slipped seven shots off the lead.
Connelly also bogeyed the third before hitting back with three straight birdies, but the youngster dropped three strokes in a disappointing inward 38 which added up to a one-over 72 and a 54-hole score of eight under, nine behind leader Matt Wallace.