RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

The Loop

Talking Sergio Garcia

August 18, 2008

Who's more fun to talk about then Sergio Garcia? Win or lose, he's a lightning rod--see Dave Kindred's profile in the September Golf Digest--and this respite between his fall at the PGA Championship and his usual rise at the Ryder Cup, has you all talking. Phil Doherty of Palm Beach Gardens and Tony Ciulla of Fallbrook, California, both zeroed in on Sergio's look as a sign of the inner man:

Doherty: __

Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino, Player, Watson, Ballesteros, Norman, Faldo, Woods, etc. Not once, EVER, did these players show up to a golf tournament with what looked like a 5 day growth on their faces. Sergio looks like a bum. At least he stopped dressing like a banana!


Ciulla: ____

Whine...Whine...Isn't it time for someone (come on, Hawk) to tell Sergio Garcia that it takes more than a growth of whiskers to be a man.  Everyone who beats him is LUCKY ? Sergio is beginning to talk like the deceased comedian Roger Dangerfield.  Sergio never gets a break!

Brendan McMahon of Rego Park,  New York goes a bit deeper:

__ Sergio Garcia had a great win at the Players at the expense of Paul Goydos, for whom it would have been a career making win.Goydos was effusive in his congratulations to Sergio, masking his own disappointment, especially after Sergios fantastic shot to the island green to effectivley win.The media and particularly the Golf Channel said how gracious Sergio was at that time. Well, its easy to be gracious in victory. Fast forward to the 2008 PGA. Harrington shoots back to back 66's,and holes 3 clutch putts to close the tournament. The most Garcia could muster was a lightening-fast handshake on the 18th green.__

__The media gave Sergio a pass on this one. I didn't see his lack of sincere sportsmanship noted in any coverage. Sergio will win a major, but the golf gods will give it to him a lot quicker if he would learn the lesson Paul Goydos tried to teach him. Nick Faldo should pair Harrington and Garcia together at the Ryder Cup. It would be the best pairing since Hal Sutton put Phil and Tiger together.>


__ __

I'm with you, Brendan. I was disappointed that Sergio, in the moments after the round, brought up Harrington's fortunate lie after his weak bunker shot and not Sergio's own failure to make four. Why talk about the other guy at that point? Graciousness is both innate and learned, and Garcia is still learning.

Jim McCabe of the Boston Globe analyzed Garcia's post-round comments, too. Responding to Sergio's complaint to the reporters, he was on the money:

__"Why are you making this a disappointment?" __

Well, because any professional golfer worth his weight in a bag of wooden tees wants to win a major and to get close and see it slip away has to be a disappointment. Multiply that by the three, four, or five times Garcia has been in position to win, but hasn't and you can understand why the wagons are circling.

Garcia knows it, too.

__At Oakland Hills the best Garcia could come up with in the way of acknowledging Harrington -- who has now won three of the last six majors -- was, "He was obviously very good on the back nine and things just happened his way." He was then asked, "What would you say about Paddy's last month?" Garcia barely managed a just-this-side-of-sarcastic, "Great." __

Garcia is now 0-for-38 in majors as a professional, and his undeniable ability and recent close calls will lay the Best Player Never to Have Won a Major label on him as heavily as it was ever worn by Mickelson (who shed it by winning one) or Colin Montgomerie (who shed it by steadily contending in so few). Perhaps more problematic, Garcia's loss at Oakland Hills had a Normanesque quality, as he was beaten by improbably brilliant shots made more damaging by his own untimely errors.


---Bob Carney