Sergio Garcia in fearsome form(Getty Images)

Europe's talisman ready to rumble

By Michael Gibbons-

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Played 20, won 14, halved two. There's not much more you can say about Sergio Garcia's Ryder Cup record. The talismanic Spaniard is the embodiment of every positive aspect that has made Team Europe an irresistible force at the last three Ryder Cups.

When it comes to The Ryder Cup, Garcia has it all: class, flair, fighting spirit and, above all else, the ability to thrive on the most intense pressure in golf.

It's no wonder Garcia loves The Ryder Cup then. He was at it again during Team Europe's first practice round at Valhalla. Playing alongside S�ren Hansen and Lee Westwood, the 28 year old was in awesome form as he fine tuned his game ahead of Friday morning's opening Foursome matches.

Hansen's assessment of his day in Garcia's company summed up how well the Spaniard is playing. "The way Sergio played today was mind blowing, really," said the Dane.

The man himself was considerably more modest, but was clearly in a confident, buoyant mood.

He said: "We all are very comfortable with each other's company. We are loving every minute of it. We had a good day today. Played with Lee and S�ren this morning, and the course is looking very nice.

"Everybody has been telling us the past week or two that they had trouble with the heat and that it was looking a little bit thin on grass, but it looks great. I thought I saw the course very nicely, and just looking forward to get started and hopefully get some good matches going.

"One of the things I love about The Ryder Cup is how everybody comes together, how much better you get to know some of your teammates. Everybody kind of loosens up and opens up, and it's a single week where you learn more things about your teammates than any other week."

The one thing that none of his teammates will have to learn about Garcia is that he is almost a perfect Ryder Cup playing partner.

Garcia has won every one of the eight Foursomes matches he has contested since his Ryder Cup debut at the age of 19 at Brookline Country Club, and has lost just one of the eight Fourballs he has contested.

What is it that makes the Spaniard almost invincible as playing partner?

I've just had very good partners," he grinned. "It's just enjoying the moment. Like I said before, I've had very good partners. Every single one of the partners I've played with, they have played very nicely, so that always helps. I just enjoy the moment and, you know, live it to the fullest. It's just a chance we get every two years; it's not that often. So you've just got to try your hardest, and hopefully you perform the best way you know how to perform."