Meet the guys: El Niño, Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia fact file
Name: Sergio Garcia Fernández
Date of birth: 09/01/1980
Place of birth: Castellón, Spain
Staffer: TaylorMade & Adidas
Turned professional: 1999
The Lowdown: Sergio Garcia
Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia is considered to be one of golf’s greatest players to have never won a major championship.
The 37-year-old has won over 20 worldwide tournaments, his latest being the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2016, including nine on the PGA Tour.
He is currently ranked fourteenth in the world and has spent more than 1000 weeks in the OWGR, in seven of those years he has been inside the top-ten.
Garcia, started his golfing career at the young age of three and was taught by his father, a club professional at a golf course in Madrid.
As a junior he proved to be an incredible talent on his home continent, winning his local club Championship. Garcia has claimed 28 Amateur victories, both individual and team, including the 1997 British Boys Amateur Championship.
At the age of 16, Garcia, set the record of becoming the youngest player to win the European Amateur. Followed by his first professional win in 1997, the Catalonian Open.
The Spaniard turned professional in 1999, after shooting the lowest score by an amateur at The Masters that year. 1999 was the year he really broke onto the scene.
Garcia picked up his first professional win on the European Tour at the 1999 Irish Open, this was followed by five top-tens that season and his second win at the Standard Life championship.
His duel with Tiger Woods, at the 1999 US PGA Championship, helped burst him onto the scene. Sergio eventually finished second to Tiger, but his shot from the 16th hole and the run which followed is remembered best.
In 2001, at the age of 21, Garcia won his first PGA Tour event at the 2001 MasterCard Colonial and won his second at the Buick Classic.
He was back to winning ways again in 2002, taking the Mercedes championship on the PGA Tour and the Canarias Open de Espana. Top 2002 off he was part of the winning European Ryder Cup team, captained by Sam Torrance.
Garcia would go on to feature in another seven Ryder Cups, most recently he was a part of Europes defeat to Team USA in the 2016 tournament at Hazeltine. He holds an impressive record of 19-11-7 and holds five victories.
PGA Tour: 9
European Tour: 11
Asian Tour: 5
A highlight victory for Garcia was his triumph at the 2008 Players Championship, which he won in a playoff against Paul Goydos.
The sudden-death playoff summed up the Spaniards play of the week. Goydos found the water with his wedge, but Garcia put his approach, on the par-3 17th, to four feet.
Out of all of his victories a Major championship has eluded him over his 18 year career, however the Spaniard has come close;
Major Championship results
Sergio has 20 top 10s at major championships including four runner-up finishes, it’s a very impressive record.
The Open Championship: 2nd (2007)
The Masters: T4 (2004)
US PGA Championship: T2 (2008)
US Open: T3 (2005)
Garcia came very close at Carnoustie in the 2007 Open Championship, where he held the 54-hole lead and was three shots clear of Steve Stricker. He failed to make par on the final hole and as a result lost in a four-hole playoff to Padraig Harrington, by one shot.
Padraig Harrington would torment Garcia again at the 2008 PGA championship on Oakland Hills CC. Harrington, much like in the 2007 Open won his second third Major on try reducing the Spaniards lead on the back-nine. His approach to the 16th green was heavily misjudged and found the water, another one bites the dust.
In 2016 Garcia won his first PGA Tour title since 2012. This time it was the 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson, where he triumph over Brooks Koepka in a one-hole playoff. It became his 9th PGA Tour victory and he now ties Seve Ballesteros for the most wins by a Spaniard.