Up here in Maine for a few days of vacation, it is nonetheless heartening to get letters like this one from Lenny Lehnertz of Austin, Texas, on, alas, poor Sergio.
Sergio lost the PGA. So what? Sergio Garcia is by far my favorite golfer. He is also extremely popular with all my friends. Why? I'm 26. My friends and I are Sergio Garcia. We swing hard, we yell at the ball, and we enjoy golf. The thing that we can all relate to with Sergio is that there is a little bit of Sergio in every amateur. We wear our emotions on our sleeves, we play driver when we should use irons, and when we fire on all cylinders; look out. Writers will bring him down, but who cares. He plays the way he wants. Same with us. We don't want some 80 year old asking us why we didn't hit a 7 wood on a par 5 from the tee. Golf is fun. Seeing someone like Sergio, one of the few golfers that actually shows emotion, lets us all know that we aren't the only ones. Good shots are what keep us playing, and are what keep us buying all the products advertised in your magazine. He'll win one.>
I think I'm with you on Sergio. He won the Players and played great in the PGA. I really look forward to seeing him in the Ryder Cup. But if the measure of winning at Oakland Hills was fearlessness, Harrington had it. First, when he flinched, on 16, he did so in a place (the bunker) he could recover from. (Sergio did not). Second, he seemed determined after that misplay to play boldly from that point on, and the shot to 17 set the tone. Sergio responded beautifully, only to have Harrington stay bold with his put. At that point Sergio got careful, I think.
Still, my only disappointment was his comment after the round referring to Harrington's good fortune in having a lie he could play from after his poor bunker shot. Had it been the Ryder Cup I don't think he would have been talking about his opponent's good fortune.