Garcia inspired by Celtic experience
Two years ago at Celtic Manor, Sergio Garcia was on the sidelines, still part of the European cause as vice captain but unable to hit a shot. Now he is back and ready for action.
It was a chastening experience and one which inspired the Spaniard to reclaim his place as a player, and as the first shots of The 2012 Ryder Cup draw ever closer at Medinah Country Club the spark is back in his eyes.
Recalling the experience of 2010, he said: “It was different. Obviously I wasn’t able to hit a shot but it was a good experience. Difficult, but good.
“It’s definitely a little bit of an inspiration to see your teammates playing and you not really being able to do much.
“And I hope that it was one of the reasons why I’m here now.”
Garcia will be playing his sixth Ryder Cup and his strengths as a team player are underlined by his phenomenal foursomes record where he remains unbeaten in five Ryder Cups, winning eight matches and halving one.
“It’s quite simple,” he joked when asked why his record was so good. “I just had great partners and they carried me home.”
Elaborating, he said: “Foursomes is the toughest format we play, so being comfortable with who you play with is key. I’ve managed to gel nicely with the partners I’ve had. We’ve played well together and been comfortable together.”
And Garcia’s return to the fold continues the Spanish legacy started by Seve Ballesteros alongside Antonio Garrido in 1979. It will be a poignant occasion when the matches start as the first Ryder Cup since Seve’s passing, but his influence can still be felt, with Seve’s silhouette adorning the golf bags of every player.
“There’s no doubt that will be an inspiration,” said Garcia. “It’s the first Ryder Cup without Seve around. So it’s very emotional. We all know how much he meant, not only to the game of golf but to The Ryder Cup and to us.
“There’s pictures around the team room that we love looking at. It would be nice to play nicely and manage a win to dedicate it not only to our captain but also to Seve. I know he’ll be up there watching and probably cheering us quite hard.”