Sergio García


Sergio García

Sergio García (born January 9, 1980) is a Spanish professional golfer who plays on both the United States PGA Tour and the European Tour. He has spent much of his career in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings (over 200 weeks between 2000 and 2007 [ [http://dps.twiihosting.net/wgr/doc/content/2007%20Stats/86TO0810.pdf 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking] ] ).

Career outline

García began playing golf at the age of three, taught by his father, Vitor. He was a star player as a junior, winning his club championship at age twelve. Four years later, he set a record as the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event, the 1995 Turespana Open Mediterranea. Also in 1995, he became the youngest player [ [http://www.pgatour.com/players/02/12/09/media-guide.html Sergio Garcia - Media Guide ] ] to win the European Amateur. In 1998, he won the British Amateur.

García turned professional in 1999 after shooting the lowest amateur score in the 1999 Masters Tournament. He first achieved prominence with a duel against Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship, where he eventually finished second. Late in the final round, García hit his most famed shot: with his ball up against a tree trunk and the green hidden from view, he swung hard with his eyes shut and hit a low curving fade that ran up onto the green. As the shot traveled, he sprinted madly into the fairway and then scissor-kick jumped to see the result.

When García first turned professional he had an unorthodox swing with a loop and large lag, but during the 2003 season he worked towards making his swing more conventional. In his early years, he repeatedly gripped, released, and regripped his hands on the club handle before finally taking a shot. This "waggle" habit created a stir, especially at the 2002 U.S. Open when some galleries audibly counted the number of regrips into the twenties. Since then he has eliminated the habit. Responding to criticism of his swing, Sergio said, "My swing works for me, so why should I change it? I prefer to have a natural swing and play well rather than a perfect swing and not be able to play good." [" [http://www.amazon.com/Gigantic-Book-Golf-Quotations-Thousands/dp/1602390142/ The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations] ", ed. Jim Apfelbaum. 2007.]

He won his first PGA Tour tournament at the 2001 MasterCard Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas and won again at the Buick Classic the same year. In 2002, he won the Mercedes Championships and in 2004, García won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and the Buick Classic for the second time. His sixth PGA Tour victory came at the 2005 Booz Allen Classic. He also plays a limited schedule on the European Tour, where he has won six times.

García was a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008, and holds an impressive career record at the Ryder Cup of 14-3-3. As three of his appearances have resulted in overall victories, Garcia's input in the team has proved invaluable. He had risen into the top five of the Official World Golf Rankings, but after an inconsistent 2006 season, he dropped out of the top 10.

In the 2006 Ryder Cup, at the K Club in Ireland, Garcia won both his fourball and foursome matches (with José María Olazábal and Luke Donald, respectively) on day one, beating David Toms and Brett Wetterich in the fourballs and Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk in the foursomes. On day two he paired up with Olazábal again, who won both their matches against Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco in both the foursomes and fourballs. Going into the final day in the singles, Garcia was heavily tipped to be the first person to win all their matches in one Ryder Cup, however Stewart Cink beat him 4 and 3. Europe won the cup again by 18½ points to the United States' 9½ points.

After missing the cut of the first two major championships in 2007, Garcia found success at The Open Championship - his favorite of the four majors - at Carnoustie Golf Links. He held the lead after each one of the first three rounds and carried a 3-shot lead over Steve Stricker and a 6-shot lead over the rest of the field into the start of the fourth day. At an early stage of the last round he had extended the lead to 4 shots, but bogeys at the 5th, the 7th, and the 8th holes brought him back to the field. On the final challenging hole he needed a par to win, but failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker. The last putt on the 18th hole on Sunday would have given him his first professional major. He missed it by a fraction and faced a playoff with Pádraig Harrington that he eventually lost by one stroke. In his post round news conference, Garcia seemed to suggest that bad breaks had cost him the championship. During the playoff, on the 16th hole, his tee shot hit the flag stick, but then bounced 20 feet from the pin, and Garcia could not convert for birdie. " It's not the first time, unfortunately, " Garcia stated. " I don't know...I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field." In the 2007 PGA Championship, Garcia was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round. [ [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2007/news/garcia_dq_081107.html Garcia disqualified for signing incorrect scorecard] ]

On May 11, 2008, García won The Players Championship on the PGA Tour in a playoff against Paul Goydos. On the first playoff hole, the 17th, Goydos hit a pitching wedge that ballooned and fell inches short of the green and into the water, while García played a sand wedge to within four feet of the hole. Goydos made double bogey while García made par for the win. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/sports/golf/12golf.html?ref=golf nytimes.com, García Clears Water and Ends a Drought] ] At the 2008 PGA Championship, García narrowly missed out winning his first major championship yet again. Like the 2007 Open Championship, Pádraig Harrington was able to erase a García lead on the back nine for the championship. García would finish two strokes back for his second runner-up finish at the PGA Championship. García did not make many mistakes during his final round, but his second shot on the 16th found the water which cost him sole ownership of the lead. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/pgachampionship08/news/story?id=3528657 Harrington catches Garcia, rallies to win second straight major] ] Regarding another near-miss in a major championship, García stated, "I felt like I responded well and he was obviously very good on the back nine and things just happened his way".

Personal life

A bachelor, he drives a Ferrari 360 Modena "quickly" and a Jaguar XJR. [http://www.golfdigest.com/features/index.ssf?/features/gd200202sergio.html] Ex-girlfriends include former world number-one tennis player Martina Hingis, who helped him cope with the emotional side of the game, [http://www.golfdigest.com/majors/usopen/index.ssf?/majors/usopen/gw20020621diaz.html] and Greg Norman's daughter, Morgan-Leigh Norman, a graduate of Boston College [ [http://www.sportsnews24h.com/Golf/Sergio-Garcia/girlfriend.html Sergio Garcia girlfriend News SportsNews24h.com ] ] [ [http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,20503054-949,00.html Sergio's a great guy - Norman | PerthNow ] ] [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,30289-2362864,00.html Some things won't change as continents unite for Clarke - Sport - Times Online ] ]

Additionally, he keeps a close friendship with the Uruguayan football player Diego Forlán. They first met in Castellón when the latter was playing for the nearby La Liga club Villarreal. [ [http://www.elpais.com.uy/07/12/27/pdepor_321364.asp Article from the Uruguayan newspaper "El País"] es]

Golf equipment

García is currently sponsored by TaylorMade Golf,cite web | title=TaylorMade PGA Tour Players: Sergio García | publisher=TaylorMade Golf | work=taylormadegolf.com | url=http://www.taylormadegolf.com/players.asp?tID=2&pID=152 | accessdate=15 April | accessyear=2006] and uses almost all TaylorMade clubs. His club lineup is as follows:

* Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner 9.0° (Marked 9.5°), Fujikura RE.AX Rombax 105 TP
* Woods: TaylorMade Burner TP 13° (3 Wood), Fujikura RE.AX Rombax 105 TP and TaylorMade R7 TP 17.5° (5 Wood), Fujikura Vista Pro 80
* Irons: TaylorMade rac MB TP (2-PW), Royal Precision Rifle Project X
* Wedges: TaylorMade rac TP 52°, 58°
* Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport

García also plays the new TaylorMade TP Red LDP ball. Under the leadership of Senior Director of R&D Dean Snell, a golf ball scientist whose name is on many of Acushnet's patents relating to the Pro V1, TaylorMade worked closely with tour pros to develop the original TP Red and Black golf balls, and García reported being a big participant in the development process.cite web | title= New TaylorMade TP Golf Balls | publisher=TheSandTrap.com | work=thesandtrap.com | url=http://thesandtrap.com/archives/bag_drop/taylormade_gets_back_in_the_ball_game.php | accessdate=15 April | accessyear=2006] There is also unofficial video documentation of a press conference where Snell speaks on the new TP balls while García demonstrates some shots.cite web | title= TaylorMade TP Golf Ball Product Demonstration Video | publisher=TheSandTrap.com | work=thesandtrap.com | url=http://thesandtrap.com/archives/tvmedia/taylormade_tp_golf_ball_video.php | accessdate=15 April | accessyear=2006]

PGA Tour wins (7)

*2001 (2) MasterCard Colonial, Buick Classic
*2002 (1) Mercedes Championships
*2004 (2) EDS Byron Nelson Championship, Buick Classic
*2005 (1) Booz Allen Classic
*2008 (1) The Players Championship

PGA Tour playoff record (4-5)

LA = Low Amateur
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half way cut
DQ = disqualified
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Results in World Golf Championship events

1Cancelled due to 9/11
DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
NT = No Tournament
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances

Amateur
*Eisenhower Trophy: 1996, 1998
*St Andrews Trophy: 1996, 1998
*Junior Ryder Cup: 1995, 1997
*Jacques Leglise Trophy: 1994, 1995, 1996 (winners), 1997, 1998

Professional
*Ryder Cup (representing Europe): 1999, 2002 (winners), 2004 (winners), 2006 (winners), 2008
*WGC-World Cup (representing Spain): 2001, 2004, 2005
*Seve Trophy (representing Continental Europe): 2000 (winners), 2003
*Alfred Dunhill Cup (representing Spain): 1999 (winners)

Trivia

*In 2002, during a practice round, García made an albatross (double eagle) on the par-5 second hole at the Masters, one of the few players to have ever done so. On the 575-yard hole at the Augusta National Golf Club, he holed a 253-yard 2-iron following a 325 yard drive.
*García and his ex-girlfriend's father, Greg Norman, are designing a new golf course in San Antonio. [ [http://www.birdieblog.com/2007/09/30/sergio-garcia-and-greg-norman-designing-new-course/ Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman designing new course | Birdie Blog.com ] ]

See also

* Golfers with most PGA Tour wins

References

External links

* [http://www.europeantour.com/publish.sps?syndicatorguid=&rmasiteinstanceguid=&pagegid=%7B20E6AA6B-0225-4C71-BD89-2ACBEE615D69%7D&playerid=487 Profile on the European Tour's website]
* [http://www.pgatour.com/players/02/12/09/ Profile on the PGA Tour's website]
* [http://www.officialworldgolfranking.com/players/bio.sps?ID=5689 Results in ranking events for the last two years from the Official World Golf Rankings site]
* [http://sport.guardian.co.uk/golf/story/0,,1890176,00.html Interview] - "The Observer", October 8 2006


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