Sergio Garcia calls for peace amidst rising tensions in Spain
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Few Spanish athletes have enjoyed such global success as Sergio Garcia. The 37-year-old has been among golf's titans for nearly two decades, finally reaching the sport's pinnacle with his triumph at Augusta National this spring. Coupled with his marriage over the summer and announcement of his first child, 2017 has been a revelation in more ways than one.
And yet, as he revels in his bonanza in the United States, Garcia remains mindful of the landscape in his homeland. Spain is in the middle of a crisis regarding Catalonia's independence, a movement that's reached a fever point this week as hundreds of thousands took to Barcelona's streets in protest.
Speaking with CNN, Garcia pleaded for unity as protests waged.
"As a Spaniard, I think that there's so many bad things happening in the world, it feels wrong to separate each other," Garcia told CNN.
Catalans have been seeking autonomy from Spain, with a referendum held in early October. Ninety percent of the Catalan vote favored to break away from Spain, but the government has deemed the process illegal. Protests revved up this week following the dismissal of Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont and the region's cabinet.
"It is a very touchy subject. I'm not a politician and I'm not going to start being one," Garcia said. "I think we should be looking into everybody. Not only Spain and Catalonia but everybody getting closer together to make this world better."
Garcia returned to Spain in late October to serve as host for the European Tour's Andalucía Masters at Valderrama. Garcia won the event by a stroke over Joost Luiten, his 32nd victory in his professional career.