Notes Sergio Likes Label


04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Sergio Garcia has won only five times on the PGA Tour, and he won't celebrate his 25th birthday until Sunday. But with no other legitimate candidates to inherit Phil Mickelson's label, the Spaniard might have to settle for being the best player without a major.
And that's OK with him.
Sergio Garcia'I find it a bit funny ... because they're putting me on the list already,' Garcia said. 'If you just got on tour - and some people just got on tour who are 24 or 25 - you can't just put them on that. But it's also a good thing, because they consider you a good golfer.'
Garcia's five victories came in good tournaments - twice at the Buick Classic, Colonial, the Byron Nelson Championship and the winners-only Mercedes Championships.
And unlike other players, he has contended in majors.
Garcia first broke onto the scene as a 19-year-old at the PGA Championship, when he gouged that shot out of the tree on the 16th hole at Medinah and finished one shot behind Tiger Woods. He was paired with Woods in the final round of the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black and finished fourth, and he closed with a 66 to tie for fourth at the Masters last year, although he never had a chance to win.
Garcia has had top 10s in all four majors.
'I'm working hard to try to get my majors soon,' he said. 'But it's something you can't rush. You have to keep giving yourself chances. There's some guys that are a bit more fortunate. They get one chance and they get through. And there's some other guys that it takes them a bit longer.'
Vijay Singh continues to give his PGA Tour perks to charity.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF said the world's No. 1 player will help the smallest survivors of the tsunami in South Asia by donating proceeds of an auction on eBay that include the 2005 Buick Rainer he got for winning the Buick Open.
Last year, Singh earmarked $150,000 from a charity program for 54-hole leaders to hurricane victims in Florida.
'My wife thought it was a great idea to do that, and I didn't really need a car at this moment,' Singh said. 'But it's for a very good cause. There's a lot of people out there that need help. This is just a little thing that I can help, and I hope if you guys are looking for a car ... it's on eBay.'
His wife, Ardena, is from Malaysia.
The 41-year-old Fijian said he was in Phuket, Thailand, in November, walking down the street where the tsunami hit.
'I'm from Asia,' Singh said. 'My heart is from there, so I feel for the people there.'
Also part of the auction is a set of Cleveland clubs Singh used and tickets to 14 tour events, including all nine that Singh won last year. The PGA Tour will provide matching funds.
Everyone can read all about Phil Mickelson's victory at Augusta National the week of the Masters. Warner Books has acquired a book he wrote with Donald T. Phillips that is scheduled to be published on April 4.
The book is called 'One Magical Sunday: But Winning Isn't Everything.'
As it goes through every hole in the final round, Mickelson reflects on his journey to a green jacket - how he got started, developed his analytical approach as an amateur, and how his marriage and children keep his professional game in harmony with his needs.
'This book shows that no matter how many majors he wins, he'll always be at the top of the leaderboard in family values,' said Time Warner Book Group chairman Laurence Kirschbaum.
David Howell of England has won the Shot of the Year Award on the European tour for his 6-iron into the 17th green during a best-ball match at the Ryder Cup.
Along with a trophy from The Royal Bank of Scotland, Howell received a check for about $3,500 that he donated to the Tsunami Disaster Fund Appeal.
Europe was 1 down in its Saturday morning match, with momentum on the American side. Howell's 6-iron from 203 yards stopped 5 feet from the hole and he made the putt to square the match. Europe went on to win on the 18th hole, and eventually routed the Americans at Oakland Hills to capture the cup for the seventh time in 10 tries.
Turns out the shot of the year wasn't all that great.
'In all honesty, it wasn't the purest strike of my life,' Howell said. 'However, it went dead straight and released nicely to 5 feet. It was a great feeling to see the ball so close to the hole, and even better to make the putt.'
The Sony Open will feature three old men and a baby.
Along with 15-year-old Michelle Wie playing next week at Waialae Country Club, Tom Kite, Craig Stadler and Peter Jacobsen from the Champions Tour are in the field.
Kite, 55, decided to use a one-time exemption from the money list to play a final year on the PGA Tour.
Stadler is still exempt from his victory in the 2003 B.C. Open. He might not have played the Sony Open, except that his 24-year-old son, Kevin, is making his debut as a PGA Tour rookie.
Seven players from the Mercedes Championships will not be playing next week on Oahu - Stephen Ames, Joey Sindelar, John Daly, Stuart Appleby, Sergio Garcia, Mike Weir and Tiger Woods, who has never played the Sony Open.
Appleby's wife is expecting their first child next week.
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