Maybe he expected the rest of us to do that for him.
Garcia left Carnoustie in tears in 1999 after missing the cut. But the same course that was cruel to a 19-year-old playing his first British Open as a pro somehow was crueler still to a 27-year-old who has yet to fulfill that enormous promise.
Instead, just days after the greatest of his countrymen, Seve Ballesteros, announced his retirement, the young Spaniard who was supposed to step into his shoes skidded to 0-for-33 in golf's biggest events.
'You know what's the saddest thing about it?' Garcia said afterward. 'It's not the first time. It's not the first time, unfortunately. So, I don't know, I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field.'
Whoever and whatever he was referring to, only Garcia knew. But he's right about it not being the first time. In the past, he's blamed losses on his shoes and one of Europe's most respected rules officials.
Still, he started the day three shots clear of the field, bumped it to four at one point and then fell two behind. Even so, he arrived at the 18th in regulation leading by a stroke, needing a par to win and made bogey.
Garcia said a 15-minute delay waiting to hit a 3-iron into that well-guarded green 'doesn't help.' In truth, the wait was no more than five minutes. Harrington, playing two groups ahead, created a backup by dumping his tee shot and an approach into the Barry Burn on the last hole of regulation. Yet he still made one of the best double-bogeys you'll ever see.
Then the Irishman put that mishap behind him. He made birdie at the first playoff hole, followed by two pars and a bogey that proved good enough to win when Garcia's birdie try hit the edge of the cup on the fourth playoff hole and danced away.
'The one thing, I never, ever had it in my head is that I'd lost,' Harrington said. 'Now, if Sergio parred the last and I did lose, I think I would have struggled to come back out and be a competitive golfer. It meant that much to me. ...
'He did hit a lovely putt. I'm sure he's going to look back on that and -- I thought he holed it. But as I said, in my head, going out into that playoff, there was a little bit of, 'I've got a second chance.' I didn't have a down after the round, which I think was very important,' he added. 'I kept myself very level all the way through.'
Garcia appeared to do the same, but in the interview room later, he offered a companion edition to the textbook Harrington had written across this wind-swept links.
'I don't know, I should write a book on how to not miss a shot in the playoff and shoot 1-over,' Garcia said. 'It's the way it is. I guess it's not news in my life.'
He garnered his only laugh of the afternoon moments later when someone asked whether he had ever missed so many big putts by such small margins.
'Obviously you haven't been watching me much,' he replied. 'You only watch the guys that make the putts and get the good breaks and things like that.'
Actually, we watch the guys who make their own breaks, those who, like Harrington, expend little time and energy cursing their luck, focusing instead on the things they can control.
'Normally, when it's your day, you chip in, you hole a long putt. None of that was happening,' Harrington said.
'I got a very good break on 14. I assumed my ball kicked just left of the green up there. I thought I was going to be like 30 feet away from the hole. Instead I was 15 feet away with a great chance. That was a big break to hole that.
'Again, at no stage besides that one putt there,' he added, 'did I feel like, hey, everything is going my way today.'
The knock on Garcia is that he's never been good under pressure -- outside of Ryder Cup matches -- and even worse on the greens. He switched to a belly putter -- often derided as an 'old man's' club -- after missing the cut at the U.S. Open last month and for the first three rounds here, it worked well enough. That may have had more to do with the rain-softened conditions than a change in Garcia's nerve or skills.
'I was definitely a little bit nervous at the beginning and it's understandable. If you're trying to win an Open championship and you're leading and you're not nervous, then you must be dead,' he said in a candid moment.
It didn't last long enough.
'But I don't know how I managed to do these things. It seems to me like every time I get in this kind of position I have no room for error. I need to miss one shot,' he said, 'and I rarely get many good breaks.'
That's why golf is a four-letter word.