One of the biggest mysteries in the golf world is how Sergio Garcia has yet to win a Major Championship. The 36-year old Spaniard has finished in second place four times in Major Championships in his career, but just can’t quite crack the top spot. Damon Hack from the Golf Channel published a great piece on the pressure that Sergio has dealt with in his career.
“Garcia had just scissor-kicked his way into our golf consciousness, pushing Woods in a way that few have, before falling short in the PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club by one shot.
The 23-year-old Woods – his shoulders slumped after the weight of winning his second major – spotted the 19-year-old Garcia off the 18th green and embraced his young pursuer.
“Great playing, Sergio,” Woods said. “Great playing.”
Garcia thanked him, patted Woods on the shoulder, and the golf cognoscenti started fitting Garcia for a closet full of green jackets.
One of the lone voices of caution came from one of Garcia’s boyhood heroes, someone who knew the grind of championship golf – and life – as well as anyone.
“I think when you’re a 19-year-old, you have no fear, have you?” Jose Maria Olazabal said at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, days after that PGA. “You don’t have anything to lose, nothing to lose. There is no pressure at all. No responsibility. And I think he’s taken advantage of it.”
One of Garcia’s most iconic moments in his career, for most people, was when he chased his ball up the fairway after hitting a miraculous shot with his ball up against the base of a tree. I was one of the many who thought that Garcia was certain to win multiple Major Championships over the course of his career. There was no way that such talent could go by the wayside without at least two or three Majors.
But, I was wrong and so were a lot of other people. That is not to say that Garcia has not had a great career, because he certainly has. Garcia has 28 professional wins, including 8 PGA-Tour Wins and a Players Championship Trophy after defeating Paul Goydos in a playoff in 2012. Not to mention, but he has also been a Ryder Cup stalwart for Europe and has disappointed many USA fans.
Lanny Wadkins had some interesting words about Garcia.
“I just think his time has passed,” Lanny Wadkins, the World Golf Hall of Fame member and 1977 PGA champion, says now. “When you stop and think of the things he’s gone through, I think he has some demons. Big-time winners don’t struggle taking the club away. From a ball-striking perspective, I think he’s very one-dimensional. Sergio’s putting stroke looks better, but it doesn’t look as solid as a guy like Adam Scott. There’s still a little ‘wish’ in there.”
Some of Wadkins’ comments can be disputed, but he does make a strong point about Garcia’s putting stroke. Putting has always been a source of troubles for Garcia and it is the one thing that any player must excel at in order to win a Major.
Garcia, now 36, looks to put his Major Championship failures in the past as he tees it up in Augusta next week looking for his first Major win.