Sergio Garcia Profile
|Short Name||El Nino|
|Born||Jan 09, 1980|
|Birthplace||Borriol, Castellon, Spain|
One of Europe's leading golfers of the modern era, the Spaniard finally joined the Majors club with victory at the 2017 Masters.
It is telling that despite a glittering career jam-packed with honors, many still believe that Sergio Garcia has failed to fulfil the seemingly boundless potential he displayed when bursting onto the scene at the turn of the century.
Garcia finally got over the line in a Major at the 2017 Masters after several close calls over the years since his sensational debut season in 1999.
He has spent more than 450 weeks in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings but has never hit top spot, his highest ranking the second place he reached after winning the HSBC Champions tournament in November 2008.
Garcia has a textbook iron game, which gives him great accuracy in his approach play and has helped him achieve consistent performances on both the PGA and European Tours for over two decades.
Only Lee Westwood has been involved in more Ryder Cup victories for the European team than Garcia. He has featured in every edition of the team tournament since 1999, barring the 2010 event, and is the all-time points leader for Europe.
He enjoyed a short but decorated amateur career, turning professional at 19 years old after catching the eye of sponsors as a junior.
Garcia has claimed a number of awards in his career, notably securing both the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award in 2008 after a stellar PGA Tour campaign.
Frequently controversial, the Spaniard disagreed with a rules official on the PGA Tour in May 2022 and was overheard by TV cameras muttering that it explained why he was leaving the tour - widely perceived to be an admission, albeit inadvertent, that he was joining the Saudi LIV Golf Series.
Garcia was a toddler when he first had a golf club thrust into his hands and by the age of 12 he was his club's champion. His father Victor was a club professional and acted as his first coach.
As a 15-year-old, he made the cut at the European Tour's Turespana Open Mediterrania and later in 1995 he became the youngest person to win the European Amateur.
He continued his tear in 1997, winning the Boys Amateur Championship and claiming a win among the pros at the Catalan Open. However, he was forced to give up the prize money due to his amateur status.
Garcia left Muirfield with the Amateur Championship in 1998 and went on to win the Pereira Iraola Cup.
He represented Europe and Spain in several amateur team competitions.
In his first major appearance at the 1999 US Masters, Garcia finished as the leading amateur in the field.
After a great display at Augusta in April 1999, Garcia reckoned it was time to become a professional.
Just three months later, Garcia had recorded his first professional win on the European Tour at the Irish Open in July.
Garcia was propelled into the public eye thanks to his spectacular duel with Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. Woods would come out on top in the battle between golf's brightest young stars, but it remained a breakthrough moment and made Garcia a household name and the new talk of the professional golf scene.
Between 2001 and 2006, Garcia notched 11 top-10 finishes in 24 Major starts, but he also missed the cut seven times during the same period. He was successful on both of the premier circuits though and by the end of 2006, he had won six times on both the PGA and European Tours.
He won 'Africa's Major' - the Nedbank Golf Challenge - twice, first beating Ernie Els in a playoff in 2001 and then seeing off Retief Goosen in sudden-death in 2003.
Open Championship heartbreak
Garcia came into the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie having missed the cut at both The Masters and the US Open earlier in the year. But he warmed up relatively well for that summer's Open with a top 20 in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
He led after each of the first three rounds and appeared to be cruising to a maiden Major title after he birdied the third hole of his final round, but three bogeys would ensure that he turned just one stroke ahead of a hard-charging Padraig Harrington.
In a dramatic conclusion, Garcia had a seven-foot par putt to win the Claret Jug but dribbled his effort wide.
The moment had gone and Garcia lost the four-hole aggregate playoff by one stroke to hand Harrington his first Major and defer the Spaniard's dreams.
In May 2008 Garcia claimed the biggest victory of his career at that point when he won a playoff to snatch The Players Championship.
He had another chance to win the Open Championship in 2014 but fell two strokes short of an inspired Rory McIlroy.
There wasn't much in the preceding weeks to suggest that Garcia would be a factor at Augusta in the 2017 Masters.
He had been eliminated early in the WGC-Matchplay two weeks prior and hadn't managed a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. However, he had posted a victory on the European Tour in February's Dubai Desert Classic.
Garcia started the final round level with playing partner and good friend Justin Rose, and the pairing produced a thrilling climax to the year's opening Major.
He jumped out to a three-stroke lead only to fall back behind Rose after bogeys at 10 and 11 but an eagle at 15 restored parity and set up the dramatic finish. Rose took the lead again at 16 but immediately bogeyed at 17 and both made par on the 18th to set up a playoff.
Replaying the 18th in the first hole of the playoff, Rose was wayward off the tee and would bogey giving Garcia two putts to win the championship. He only needed one.
After carrying the unwanted tag as the best player never to have won a Major, Garcia had finally done it.
An emotional character on the course, Garcia has endured more than his fair share of controversy from a public feud with Tiger Woods to damaging greens in anger.
His spat with Woods was not a good look for Garcia, who made things worse with comments that were perceived to be racist jibes at the American.
Multiple instances of disrespect towards courses and even his caddie came to light in 2019. Garcia infamously threw his driver at his looper at the 2019 Open and was disqualified from the Saudi International tournament for damaging no fewer than five greens.
Garcia's personal life
Garcia's father Victor was a club pro who also turned out in nine PGA Tour Champions events and passed on his love of the game to his young son.
As might be expected, Garcia also shares the Spanish national passion for football, supporting Real Madrid.
He enjoys playing tennis and spending time with his wife and children in his downtime.
Garcia is married to the daughter of former Texas Longhorns quarterback Marty Akins. He announced his engagement to Golf Channel reporter Angela Akins in 2017, and the couple welcomed their first child in 2018 whom they named Azalea in honour of the 13th hole at Augusta.
In 2020 Garcia and Akins confirmed the birth of their second child Enzo.
Garcia's net worth
After over 20 years as a professional Garcia has amassed an impressive personal fortune and has an estimated net worth of $70million.
All told he has bagged more than $80million in prize money from the PGA Tour and European Tours.
Garcia bought a stake in his hometown football club CF Borriol and is currently the chairman of the fourth division side.
He is sponsored by Adidas, BMW, Credit Suisse, Omega and SuperStroke.
Sergio Garcia News
- Oct 15, 2022
- Sep 07, 2022