Garcia’s Sunday charge added excitement to The Open
By Bernie D'Amato under The Open Championship


Sergio Garcia came up just short of Rory McIlroy after firing a spectacular six-under 66 in the final round of The Open Championship. Garcia now has eight career top-10s at The Open, and this is his 4th second place finish in a major.

Sergio said, “I was excited since I woke up this morning. There’s no better feeling. That’s why we love doing this. That’s what we practice for. It was a great experience.”

It was also great TV, and I seriously thought Garcia had a chance until he played the 15th hole.

After Rory’s bogey on 13, Garcia moved to within two strokes. He needed to squeeze in a birdie somewhere before the final three holes, and his best chance should have been the 163-yard par-3 15th. Unfortunately, he bogeyed the short hole by leaving his bunker shot in the sand, and that ended up being a crucial mistake with Rory playing solid golf behind him.

Garcia said, “Obviously there’s some negative things, and obviously my bogey on 15 is not nice. But I try to look at the positives, and there’s always a lot more positives than negatives.”

Garcia also made sure to give credit to Rory for being a deserving champion, “Everybody looks at you as second and they want to make it a negative. Not at all. Like I said before, I felt like I played well. I felt like I did almost everything I could, and there was a better player. It’s as simple as that.”

Sergio is playing great this year with seven top-10s on Tour. He is knocking on the door, and will be one of my favorites at the PGA in August.

Open Championship leader board.

Sergio’s final round recap:

Sergio began the day seven strokes behind Rory, but quickly cut into the deficit with birdies on 1, 3, and 5 as well as an eagle on 10. McIlroy birdied 9 and 10, but only led Sergio by three strokes going to the 11th tee.

Holes 11, 12, 13, and 14 played difficult because of the wind conditions, and Rory bogeyed 13 while Sergio played the stretch in even par to move within two strokes of Rory.

A costly mistake occurred on the 163-yard par-3 15th. Sergio tried to hit a hard pitching wedge, and lost it right into a bunker. Garcia left his first shot in the bunker, and made bogey to give Rory a three shot lead.

Birdies on 16 and 18 were not enough to track down Rory, who would birdie 16 and make pars on 17 and 18 for a two stroke victory over Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

–Bernie D’Amato