Sergio Garcia has won a tournament or two (36, to be precise) during his 25 years as a professional golfer, but there is still one glaring omission on his CV.
The Spaniard may have a green jacket in the wardrobe thanks to his Masters triumph at Augusta National in 2017, but the 43-year-old, not for a lack of trying, has never won at the Home of Golf — Scotland (if you don’t count junior and team events).
Garcia sets out once again to change that this week as he tees it up at the St Andrews Bay Championship on the Asian Tour’s International Series — the sixth stop on the elevated circuit.
“It would be nice to win [in Scotland] obviously I have been close a few times. If you count the Ryder Cup, yes, I have won here,” said Garcia, ahead of the Asian tour’s first-ever event in Scotland. “It is something I would like to have the possibility of changing. We’ll give it our best shot.”
Garcia, 43, claimed the Amateur Championship in 1998 at Muirfield, and was part of the Spanish team, along with Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José María Olazábal, to win the Alfred Dunhill Cup the following year on The Old Course at St Andrews, but the closest he has come to triumphing indivually the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 2007 — when Ireland’s Padraig Harrington denied him victory after a four-hole playoff.
“It is very exciting. Winning is one of the reasons we are here,” he said. “I have always enjoyed playing in Scotland. I love the crowds here and it’s good to see. I didn’t have to come and play this week, but I wanted to, it really drove me to come here.”
England’s Paul Casey had earlier observed that it hadn’t occurred to him how unusual it is for the Asian Tour to be in Scotland as major Tour’s today hold events all over the world, and Garcia felt the same.
He said: “It is something you don’t really think about. We play in so many different places and so many different Tours and I think at the end of the day the game is a global game, so I think that is the way I look at it. The Asian Tour is playing in a lot of spots now. I see it as a positive and something nice and it just shows how global our game is.
“And I am sure there are other places they want to go, and they have to find what fits best for everyone. But it’s good to see and you never know maybe they will add one or two more here.”