Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2023 Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy

Sergio Garcia goes into this week's Ryder Cup with a chance to become Europe's all-time top scorer, selected by Captain Thomas Bjørn not only due to his ability on the course but his presence off it.

In the 19 years since he became the Ryder Cup's youngest ever player - a record that still stands - he has racked up eight appearances and 22½ points but his debut in 1999 may still be the tournament he is best remembered for.

Captain Mark James put the then 19 year old Spaniard with Swede Jesper Parnevik and the two went on to form a partnership that was short-lived but burned as bright as any in Ryder Cup history.

In the morning foursomes on Friday Garcia and Parnevik showed they were a force to be reckoned with as they took down Tiger Woods and Tom Lehman 2 and 1, with Garcia's infectious enthusiasm catching the eye.

In the fourballs they were up against Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk and when Parnevik holed his approach to the par four eighth for an eagle, Gracia ran onto the fairway, hugging his playing partner and lifting him off the ground.

They eked out a one up win in that match and when they comfortably beat Payne Stewart and Justin Leonard 3 and 2 in the Saturday morning foursomes, the duo had three wins from three matches.

In the fourballs they came up against Davis Love III and David Duval and just as on the previous afternoon, it would prove to be a tight affair. 

The American pair were one up after 11 holes and Europe were in trouble at the 12th before Parnevik chipped in for an unlikely par and a half on the hole. 
Cue wild celebrations from Garcia, who ran onto the green, giving an almighty leap and running past his playing partner, pumping both fists as he went.

The job was not done, however, and Garcia and Parnevik were still one down at the 18th before the rookie holed from eight feet for a birdie, prompting more fist-pumping celebrations as the duo made it 3½ points out of four.

The American comeback and the scenes that surrounded it on Sunday are well known and despite both being on the Team in 2002, Parnevik and Garcia would not be paired up in the Ryder Cup again.

But a Ryder Cup star had been born and Garcia would feature in every staging since as both a player and a Vice Captain.

In those matches Garcia would go on to form excellent partnerships with both Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, but his celebrations alongside Parnevik will forever be part of Ryder Cup folklore.


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