This Week at WorldGolf.com: April 5, 2007
Who'll win the Masters? Who knows. I want to know if Sergio will ever break through
Prior to Phil Mickelson's major breakthrough at the 2004 Masters, nearly every golf writer on the planet worth his salt dubbed Lefty The Best Player Never To Win A Major.
You don't see many golf writers attaching the same title to Sergio Garcia: He's nowhere near the best. Not even in the same league, really. (I give that title to Colin Montgomerie.)
Gallons of ink has been spilled over how the hyped Sergio-Tiger rivalry never even got off the ground. But in my view, that's far from the issue. Despite the run Garcia gave Woods at the '99 PGA Championship, you can't really compare the two - at least with a straight face. As players prepare to tee it up at this week's Masters, and Garcia's name is floated, as it usually is, as a contender, I see a more fundamental question to discuss: Why isn't Sergio Garcia simply better?
He is among the biggest gallery draws on tour and yet he just doesn't win - not much, anyway: six PGA Tour titles and six European Tour titles in 10 years as a pro. Add to that 56 top-10s (including two top-5s in majors) in roughly 175 starts. Not bad, you say, but good enough to attract the kind of attention Garcia gets?
I think of Garcia as male golf's Anna Kournikova. You just can't reconcile their renown with their records - though in fairness to Garcia, Kournikova is simply a joke. Both are testaments that celebrity often trumps results. If you're colorful - or beautiful - you're a star.
Garcia has won some tournaments, has made a ton of money, and has a lot of promising tools - good short game, creative shot making - for further success. Yet it never happens. Why? Let's stop this nonsense talk of the Sergio-Tiger rivalry-that-wasn't and address the more basic question of Garcia's overall play. He should be a lot better than he is.
On the eve of the Masters, I see no more mystifying issue in golf.
As always, WorldGolf.com welcomes your comments.
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