Sergio Once Again Blowin Americans Away

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36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- The last time Sergio Garcia was in the spotlight on a Sunday, he was dressed like a banana and getting trampled by Tiger Woods.
 
That was the British Open. This is the Ryder Cup.
 
Still 0-for-life in the majors, Garcia already has established himself, at age 26, as one of the best players in the history of golf's most important team competition.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia is a perfect 4-0 thus far in these 36th Ryder Cup matches.
He won two more matches Saturday to help Europe to its dominating 10-6 lead. One more win Sunday in singles -- and he should be considered a favorite against Stewart Cink -- and El Nino will become the first ever European player to go 5-0.
 
The secret to his success? He simply loves having teammates.
 
'If you're out there and your partner misses a shot, the only thing you do is just give them a laugh and encouragement,' Garcia said. 'You don't give them any weird looks, or anything like that.'
 
Easier said when everything is going right.
 
Garcia's pairing with Jose Maria Olazabal is being called the new 'Spanish Armada,' with Garcia taking Seve Ballesteros' place in the duo. It has been a lovefest, with backslapping and smiles galore, to say nothing of made putts.
 
The highlight, and maybe the best window into Garcia's love of two-man best-ball, came on the 10th green, when Ollie made a long putt for birdie and Garcia ran to the cup to retrieve the ball and hand it to his partner.
 
Many thought Olazabal took a laissez-faire attitude to his return to the Ryder Cup after seven years. Had he been known the pairing with Garcia would go this well, maybe he would have seemed more pumped.
 
'Today, he played not as good as yesterday, but he played solid,' Olazabal said after the 3-and-2 win over Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco. 'Even if he misses a fairway here and there, he still has the tools to get something out of it. And, you know, you really appreciate that from your partner. You know you can count on him pretty much on every hole.'
 
On No. 16 in the afternoon, after Garcia pounded his drive deep into the rough, partner Luke Donald did the best he could to chop out. The ball landed in a mucky mess of wood chips, about 100 yards from the green. Garcia sized up the shot, hit it perfectly and set up the birdie putt that Donald made to go 2 up on Mickelson and David Toms.
 
'That was probably the loudest roar I've ever heard on a golf course,' Donald said.
 
Garcia is still young, and many still expect that someday, those cheers will belong to him alone -- in a major.
 
He burst onto the scene in 1999 in a showdown with Woods, running up the fairway after hacking from behind the 'Sergio Tree' at Medinah. Back then, Garcia was supposed to be Tiger's next big challenger.
 
But Garcia did not seriously contend again in a major until this year. Trailing by one, and playing in the final group with Woods at the British in July, he embarrassed himself, not just because of that garish yellow outfit. He three-putted twice, made four bogeys on the front and was out of contention before the turn.
 
'Everybody complains that he's not a good putter everywhere else,' DiMarco said, 'but he's making a lot of putts this week.'
 
Having a lot of fun, too.
 
He is 14-3-2 over his illustrious Ryder Cup career. Win or lose Sunday, he'll leave The K Club with the best winning percentage of any European to play at least six matches. But he already held that honor coming into this year.
 
If only he could bring a partner out there for a major.
 
'I think on the European team, it's very easy to pair somebody with another player,' he said. 'Because we just love playing. We love playing with one another. We have no complaints whatsoever. And we just love it.'
 
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