IS THIS SERGIO’S YEAR?
Sergio Garcia. Just the name can bring about strong opinions from golf and sports fans alike concerning his amazing skills, his on-course behavior, and his career potential . . . either squandered, or still ahead of him.
Throughout his career, Sergio Garcia has posted great numbers and lets be honest, has made a lot of money. However, if you judge Sergio by the money list alone, you’re making a mistake. He is one of the special players of our generation, and yes, 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 from the base of a tree at Medinah.
SERGIO’S TROUBLED PAST
In a “catch 22”, it is this higher standard of expectation, which brings about worldwide attention, which at times can bring criticism. This has caused Sergio’s “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 since apologized and accepted responsibility for both actions, but at times he could still leave you wondering, “What is up with this guy?”
SERGIO’S NEW ATTITUDE
A new day has dawned and 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 the world and fate were somehow ganged up against him.
The most telling positive comments were during his post round interview on Day 1 during the recent Thailand Open. In a post round interview, Sergio seemed to be finally understanding (and accepting) the golf course he plays, is the same golf course everyone plays. That everyone gets good, and bad breaks, and it’s how you – yourself – deal with those good and bad breaks that will make you successful.
These are big steps with someone so talented, so . . . with that kind of acceptance and knowledge in place, watch out for Sergio this year!
In my opinion, Sergio Garcia is perfectly on track to win his first major. His talent and his 2013 stats show impressive strengths in his game, and lead you to look for even more.
-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)
I believe this is the new Sergio, Sergio 2.0 (as it were). I’m a fan of his talent and hope 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.
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 fortuneteller, but fortune telling comes from keen observation and calculated hunches based on empirical knowledge–and Keith does his homework.
BIO: Keith Cook is a contributing editor for localgolfer.com. His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumni living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer.
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