Hazeltine-bound: Sergio Garcia
In the fifth of our series profiling the players confirmed a place in Darren Clarke’s European side for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, we take a closer look at seven-time Ryder Cup player, Sergio Garcia.
Taught by his father Victor, who also played on the European Tour, he first swung a golf club at the age of three and quickly revealed a prodigious talent for the sport which made him a dominant force from a young age. He won his club championship aged 12 and then, four years later, set the record (since broken) as the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event in the 1995 Mediterranean Open. He won the European Amateur Championship in 1995 and the Amateur Championship in 1998, which secured him a place at the Masters in 1999. He won the low Amateur prize at Augusta and turned professional soon after, winning on the European Tour for the first time in his sixth event at the 1999 Irish Open. Since then, Garcia has added 28 titles around the world and become a global superstar who also happens to be, alongside countryman José Maria Olazábal, the sixth most successful Ryder Cup points scorer in history.
European Tour appearances: 248
European Tour wins: 11
Top ten finishes: 93
Career earnings: €23,108,566
Ryder Cup record
Appearances: 7 (1999-2002-04-06-08-12-14)
Overall record (W-L-H): 18-9-5
Total points: 20.5
Point percentage: 64 per cent
Ryder Cup highlights
• Became one of only six players to claim four and a half points out of a possible five in The Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in 2004
• Was unbeaten on the first two days at the K Club in 2006 to become only the second European, after Ian Woosnam, to win four points from the foursomes and fourball matches.
2016 Qualification highlights
Left it fairly late to cement his place in what will be his eighth European Ryder Cup team, but did so in quite magnificent style. After a victory at the Ho Tram Open in Vietnam at the end of 2015, coupled by a solid start to 2016, he was always on the fringes of qualification but answered any doubts over his ability to make the team on merit in quite emphatic style, following up his brilliant win at the AT&T Byron Nelson with consecutive fifth place finishes at the US Open, the BMW International Open and The Open to cruise into Darren Clarke’s team.
Garcia’s form during the points race:
“I am very proud to be part of the team again. This will be my eighth Ryder Cup as player, ninth in total, as I was vice-captain with Monty in 2010. There are no words to express how much the Ryder Cup means to me; it’s unique, it cannot be compared with any other event. It’s so special!
“I have great memories from the first (1999) to the last one (2014), so many wonderful experiences that I will never forget. We represent a whole continent and play for our team, which makes it even more special. There is nothing like the Ryder Cup.”