It’s great to see Sergio Garcia smiling and fist-pumping again. After nearly three years without a victory, the 31-year-old Spaniard notched his second consecutive win on the European Tour, clinching the Andalucia Masters by one shot over Miguel Angel Jimenez.
A week before, Sergio captured the Castello Masters at his home course by a dominating 11 strokes. I was a little tentative to make any strong declarations about him since it was held at the course he grew up playing — still, his margin of victory was impressive. But now, how can we not be optimistic about 2012 for him? His ballstriking has never really been questioned and he’s showing confidence in his short game in pressure situations. With Jimenez charging in the closing holes, Garcia made key up-and-downs on 16 and then 18 to hold him off.
“I’m out of words,” Garcia told EuropeanTour.com. “It’s been two amazing weeks. Miguel fought so hard and had some good chances coming in, 17 for eagle and 18 for birdie. I wasn’t as good as probably the last 13 days, but we hung on and managed to pull through.
“On 18, we decided to play a little more conservative and make sure we hit the fairway, then the chip was just amazing. I thought it was going in. I’ve been in that situation three or four times on this course. It wasn’t easy, but I believed in my ability. To be able to hit the chip I hit there and roll the putt in with the pressure, it was nice.”
Asked about his return to form after a long dry spell, Sergio said: “I knew that I had game, because I had it before, but obviously, when your head is not in the right spot it doesn’t matter how much game you have, your muscles won’t listen.
“I’m just happy with my year. We all know how difficult golf is. This is a working process, I’ll keep working on it, and trying hard and enjoying it.”
With this win, Garcia moved back into the top 20 in the world rankings from No. 31 to No. 18.
What do you expect — if anything — from Sergio in the upcoming season?
(AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)