Sergio Garcia still chasing elusive first major title

By Associated PressJuly 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Ten years after a teenage Sergio Garcia turned pro and almost caught Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship, the Spaniard is approaching his 30th birthday and still looking for his first major title.
 
Garcia came within a shot of Woods at Medinah in 1999 after a stunning recovery shot that suggested he would soon join the American in the list of multiple major winners.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia is now 0-40 in major championships. (Getty Images)
Since then, he has watched rival after rival take home winners trophies.
 
Garcia was runner-up to Padraig Harrington at Carnoustie two years ago and tied for second behind the Irishman at last years PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Now, hes sometimes being labeled the best player not to win a major.
 
Am I? I dont know. I guess you have to look at someones career and see how theyve done in majors and everything, said Garcia, who will try again when he tees off Thursday in the British Open. I couldnt really answer that question.
 
I dont really care (about the label), he added, then revised his statement. I would love to get rid of it, yes.
 
Taught by his father, Victor, Garcia has been playing golf since he was 3 years old, and won a club title at 12. As a teenager, he won 19 amateur events as well as one pro competition. He made the cut in 12 of the 18 European Tour events he played before turning pro and, carrying the nickname El Nino, showed all the signs that he would be winning majors before he was much into his 20s.
 
It just hasnt happened. Garcia has now played 40 majors without a triumph.
 
We all have a chance of winning a major. Ive had a couple, he said. Its just a matter of seeing if happens at that time or who you go against. Unfortunately my chance in 99, it was against the best player in the world (Woods) and I came up a little short. But Im still working hard to get that first major and keep going from there and thats the goal.
 
Still, Garcia says he is happy with his accomplishments so far ' seven tournament victories on the PGA Tour and six on the European, including this seasons HSBC Championship in Shanghai where he beat Oliver Wilson in a playoff.
 
Not many people can say they have been the No. 2 player in the world at their sport, he said. Theres a lot of people out there in the world. Its not that easy to get to that spot. So Im pretty happy with that.
 
And Garcia isnt going to blame bad luck for his major title drought.
 
There are moments when you feel that I have been a little but unlucky. But more than anything Ive just come to play against some guys that have just raised their game and played amazing in the last round, or last four of five holes, when they needed to, he said.
 
The most important thing for me is at least having a chance, giving yourself an opportunity. The guy that is finishing 15th or 40th, he doesnt even have one shot. I know they say that second is the first loser but Id rather be the first loser than the 39th loser.
 
The Spaniard said he likes the links courses used for the British Open and has huge support in Scotland. He first played Turnberry in 1996 in the British Amateur, which he won at Muirfield in 98 before turning pro the following year.
 
Im looking forward to doing well and hopefully win one here soon. That would be quite an experience, he said. We all have good breaks and bad breaks. Its just a case of getting them at the right time. Unfortunately for me it hasnt happened yet, but Im going to keep giving myself a chance to make sure that it happens.
 
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.