The litmus test for the 2007 Open Championship will be your judgement of Sergio Garcia. Was that a collapse we witnessed or a valiant near-miss that would have, could have, been won with an up-and-down par on the brutal 18th had that putt that hit the hole gone ahead and spun in. I suspect that our readers and viewers in general will be markedly more sympathetic to Sergio than the media will, or maybe, in his heart of hearts, Sergio will be to himself. Here's a post to this blog early today by mbriganti protesting harsh remarks by Brandel Chamblee on the Golf Channel:
I just want to say that I've been listening to the Golf Channel for the past hour and I'm sick of the comments from Brandel Chamblee regarding Sergio's press conference and performance. Brandel has had multiple comments regarding Sergio's development, maturity, being disapointed at having lost, etc. I think Brandel Chamblee should take a good long look at his own accomplishments before he decides to cast stones at someone who played with passion, enthusiasm, and fire this week. Sergio gave us the first Open Championship to be excited about, not involving Tiger, in many years. Chamblee hasn't done anything I can remember other than providing a number of mindless comments on the Golf Channel for which I can't believe he gets paid. I offer.... Brandel... At least Sergio's been there and is someone we all root for. Johnny Miller's comments aren't always well received, but at least he's been there. Competed. Won. What have you done? Sergio was great, handled his loss with a lot more dignity and class than many would have, including you. Just a thought...
Convenience-store logic suggested that when Woods wasn't around to terrorize him, Garcia would finally wrap his arms around that elusive maiden major. Last Sunday was a Tiger-free zone. Sergio led Steve Stricker by three, and among the seven guys tied for third, a whopping six strokes back, just one, Ernie Els, had done a grand-slam jig before. This would be easier than wadding up a little piece of paper and tossing it into that woman's belly button. His beer commercials may feature plenty of eye candy, but his major losses are getting hard to stomach. Only one player in Sunday's final four pairings, came in higher than Garcia's 73 -- Stricker, who missed three three-footers on the front nine and closed with a 74. "It seems like every time I get into this position, I have no room for error," Sergio moaned. "This is not the first time, unfortunately. I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than are in the field."
As I say, I think the fans will forgive. The media, we have a harder time with forgiveness.