One Golfer’s Opinion: Good Year for Sergio in 2014?
Sergio Garcia. Just the name can bring about strong opinion and debate from golf and sports fans alike concerning his amazing skills, his course behavior, and his career potential–either squandered or still ahead of him.
Sergio Garcia throughout his career has posted great numbers and let’s be honest; has made a lot of money. But, Sergio is not judged by the money list alone. He is one of the special players held to a higher standard based on his amazing talent, which was first displayed to the world in the 1999 PGA Championship with his now famous shot on 16 from the base of a tree at Medinah.
Sergio’s Troubled Past
It is this higher standard of expectation that can bring about strong criticism and has caused his fan base to be comprised of both strong supporters and committed haters. Sergio hasn’t helped himself either with displays of repugnant and childish behavior throughout his career. His spitting into the cup in 2007 and his most recent “fried chicken” comments in reference to Tiger in May of 2013 were two of the lowest moments. He has apologized and accepted responsibility for both but at times he could still leave you wondering, “What is up with this guy?”
Sergio’s New Attitude
However, Sergio seems to have made a turn (of sorts) in the one thing that has always seemed to get in the way of his enormous talent – his attitude. When you read recent magazine interviews and watch him speak on television, there seems to be a genuine uptick in his attitude. He’s almost positive about life and golf! Gone are the mannerisms and body language of, “something bad is coming … just wait.” In the past, Sergio’s comments would give away his thoughts that eventually something was going to screw it up for him and that the world and fate were somehow ganged up against him.
The most telling positive comments for me were during his post round interview on Day 1 during the recent Thailand Open where Sergio seemed to be finally understanding and accepting that the course he plays, is the same course everyone plays. That everyone gets good–and bad breaks. That it’s how you–yourself –deal with those good and bad breaks that will make you successful. And with that knowledge in place, I’ll tell you; watch out for Sergio this year!
Sergio is perfectly on track to win his first major. His talent would lead you to look for even more. His 2013 stats show impressive strengths in his game with numbers like:
-291.0 yards off the tee (64th on tour)
-67.46% Greens in Regulation (29th on tour)
-Strokes Gained Putting (8th on tour)
-69.583 Scoring Average (6th on tour)
-All-Around Ranking (9th on tour)
In my opinion, Sergio is coming into Championship form this year. I believe strongly that he is poised to win his first – and probably not the last major of his career. Let’s hope that Sergio’s evolving positive and mature attitude stays “on plane” like the rest of his talented golf game. If it does all the “squandered potential” discussions will quickly fade into the distance.
BIO:Keith Cook is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran. He lives in Southwest Michigan and enjoys traveling and playing golf throughout the United States. His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world.
Editor’s Note: Keith’s opinion piece was sent 3-days prior to Sergio’s impressive win at the Thailand Golf Championship. To my knowledge, Keith is not a fortune teller, but fortune telling comes from keen observation and calculated hunches based on empirical knowledge–and Keith does his homework.
My wish is for Sergio to be happy. He has been moody, physically destructive (took out a microphone on the tee box at 2012 US Open), verbally explosive (comments to the press that should not have been said), and brilliant in his game (just watch him play).
Sergio has always been a family guy. He grew up around extended family in his home town, and was separated from them at a tender young age to travel the lonely life of golf around the globe. Although he has an entourage, it’s no substitute for family or companionship. The only way he will get better is to have something with him to hold on to, to give him solace after a bad shot, to give him something, or someone, to comfort him during the days between tournaments and the hours between rounds (a teddy bear/a blankie/a girlfriend). If a girlfriend is able to do that for him, I think he will have fun playing again, instead of looking at the life of golf as a boring chore.