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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    Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

    Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

    And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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    Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

    By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

    The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

    The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

    ''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

    Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

    Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

    That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

    ''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

    Off the course, they're also different.

    The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

    Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

    Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

    ''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

    Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

    Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

    Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

    On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

    In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

    Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

    Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

    ''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

    The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

    ''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

    LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

    Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

    ''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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    Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

    By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

    Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

    Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

    "Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

    At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

    Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

    "No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

    Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

    Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

    By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

    South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

    Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

    Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

    “I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

    Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

    “Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

    Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

    “We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”