AUGUSTA, Ga. — Golf is a many condemned competition on a planet, and nobody has seen some-more goblins from tee to immature than Sergio Garcia. He has come adult with so many swindling theories over a years, even Oliver Stone avoids him during cocktail parties. Garcia shouldn’t be sponsored by adidas, though by Area 51.
And a infirm plant of all those swindling theories? Why, Sergio Garcia of course. Remember a time during a 2002 U.S. Open during Bethpage when he swore USGA officials would’ve stopped play if Tiger Woods were out there removing soaked instead of bad Sergio? (Garcia after left Woods a note of reparation during his locker.) Remember a time during a 2007 Open Championship during Carnoustie when he whined about some delayed fort raking and a clinching putt that somehow went awry, moving him to announce he was “playing opposite a lot of guys out there, some-more than a field”? (No reparation note was left in any Royal Ancient tea room.)
How about a time 5 years ago when Garcia announced Augusta National an resolute exam of golf? He indeed pronounced he was finished perplexing to win majors, finished distracted opposite a secret army hell-bent on harassing him. “I will try to be second or third [place],” he said, and if we didn’t like it, that was your tough luck.
“I mean, it’s unequivocally improved,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that. Nothing wrong with Augusta. we consider that a categorical thing that has softened is a approach I’m looking during it a last, probably, dual or 3 years, and apparently this year. we consider it’s a kind of place that if we are perplexing to quarrel opposite it, it’s going to kick we down. So you’ve usually got to hurl with it and comprehend that infrequently you’re going to get good breaks, like has happened to me a few times this week, and infrequently you’re going to get not-so-good breaks.”
Yes, during prolonged last, Garcia certain seems to have grown into a studious and mature golfer. He rubbed Friday’s scoreboard screw-up like aged pro. He rubbed Saturday’s pell-mell comings and goings as if he were assured he’d be a final male station on Sunday. This time, for a change, a personality Garcia was personification with, Charley Hoffman, was a one to blink. He sent his tee shot during 16 into a water.
“Sergio’s a lot calmer and freer,” pronounced Garcia’s caddie, Glen Murray. “I consider he’s come a prolonged way.”
Murray was fervent to speak about that putt on 18, and for good reason: Garcia asked him to review it, to petiole it, really, and a caddie responded by doing a 360 around a ball, tortuous here and there as he complicated a green. They both satisfied a bulk of a standard attempt, even if Garcia would downplay it later. It was a kind of putt Tiger Woods always finished and Sergio Garcia frequency did.
“It was a large putt,” Murray said. “I could see he looked during a board, so he knew he indispensable to make that to be in a final group. History says that being in a final organisation here is massive.”
Murray told his trainer this ascending putt indispensable to be sent toward a right corner of a cup. “And that’s what we unequivocally wish for a right-hander,” Murray said. Garcia listened intently, rolled his putt on his reserved line, afterwards pumped his right fist when a round left into a hole.
“He’s usually personification unequivocally well,” Murray said. “Today he didn’t play that great, though he hung in there, and that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re not personification your best.”
On his approach out of Augusta National, Garcia’s father, Victor, stopped for a impulse to tell a contributor he common a caddie’s comment that his son is a altered contender. “I determine totally,” Victor Garcia pronounced by an interpreter. “I feel it and we see it. Yes, Sergio is calmer now. And that means if he keeps his concentration and his calm, he has a good possibility to win.”
It’s not going to be easy. The leaderboard is superfluous with star power, Rose has already won a major, and Jordan Spieth has already won dual and is really most on a goal to redeem final year’s meltdown. Garcia is 0-for-73 in a majors, and it feels like he’s 0-for-200. That’s a cost he’s paid for introducing himself to a universe during age 19, during a 1999 PGA Championship during Medinah, when he sealed his eyes behind a tree and non-stop ours with a shot usually a crazy and gifted teen would try.
Garcia has finished a lot of deferred flourishing adult since. He’s about to get married, and he concedes he’d adore zero some-more than winning a Masters on what would’ve been a 60th birthday of one of his heroes, Seve Ballesteros.
He’s got 22 top-10s in a majors, and a dozen top-5s. But a golf gods told Sergio Garcia on Saturday they’re prepared and peaceful to extend him his really initial top-1. The rest of it is only adult to him.
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