Imagine Golf Blogs

Sergio Back Among The Contenders

Garcia on the rise up the rankings again

Posted Jul 01, 2011 by Chris White

Garcia is back among the contenders

As the European Tour has improved beyond recognition in recent years, with European players dominating the top of the world rankings, you might be forgiven for not noticing several players dropping away from contention, but one player has put himself right back in the reckoning in recent weeks.

Sergio Garcia, a former world number two and five time Ryder Cup team member, was runner up to Pablo Lazzabal at the BMW Invitational Open in Munich last week after finishing tied for the lead on 16-under, and lost out on a fifth playoff hole. This meant that he achieved the top four finish he needed to qualify for this year’s Open at Royal St George’s.

You can be forgiven for not noticing how the Spaniard performed at the US Open at Congressional, because of how well Rory McIlroy played, but Garcia actually finished seventh in Washington, and has moved back into the world’s top 50, having dropped out of the top 80.

He has 20 professional victories, 7 of which have come on the PGA Tour and 8 on the European Tour, but he is yet to win a major. His best finishes are second at the 2007 Open, tied for second at the PGA Championship in 1999 and 2008, joint third at the 2005 US Open and tied for fourth at the 2004 Masters.

His last PGA victory was the Players Championship in 2008, beating Paul Goydos after a playoff with both players finishing on 5-under, with his last tournament victory coming in the HSBC Champions competition in Shanghai, where he beat Oliver Wilson, again after a playoff, finishing 14-under par.

It is great to see Garcia back among the challengers for titles because he has been a fantastic player, both on and off the golf course since turning professional. He is one of those sportsmen that you just have to love and respect for the way he plays and talks about the game. When he took his break from the sport back in early 2010, you had to wonder whether he would ever come back, and if so, whether he could get back to his best.

Maybe being one of Monty’s vice-captains at the Ryder Cup inspired him to come back better than ever, because he is certainly on his way back to somewhere near the player he was. He’ll know there’s more to come, and so do we. Don’t discount him from winning this year’s Open…just saying…watch this space.

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