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Sergio A Model of Consistency

The image is indelible. A 19-year-old Sergio Garcia running up the fairway and scissor-kicking his way into the hearts of golf fans at the 1999 PGA Championship.
A lot has changed since that Sunday at Medinah. Garcias a couple of years older. A couple of years more experienced. A couple of years more mature.
But the biggest change has been in his consistency.
That consistency has led to a couple of PGA Tour victories. And even more so, its led to more opportunities. Even when Sergio doesnt prevail, he always seems to be in contention.
At least thats the way it has appeared since the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, when Garcia tied for eighth.
One week later, the Spaniard won his first-ever PGA Tour event at the MasterCard Colonial. Three starts after that, Garcia was a two-time winner, having claimed victory at the Buick Classic.
Along with the two titles, Garcia finished runner-up at the Memorial Tournament and was in contention on Sunday in both the U.S. Open and the British Open Championship.
Its really nice to be able to think that even if you dont have the good breaks or you dont have the perfect week or everything, you can still be in contention, Garcia said in his PGA Championship press conference.
If there has been one downfall to Garcias stateside success, its been his inability to climb inside the top-10 on the European Ryder Cup points list.

Garcia has played in only four European Tour events this season ' not including the majors.
An integral component to the 1999 team, Garcia is currently in 20th place in the Ryder Cup standings. The top ten in the standings by the completion of the BMW International (Aug. 30 ' Sept. 2) earn an automatic berth on the team.
But for now, Garcia has his sights set on the top 12. The leading 12 players on the European Ryder Cup points list at the end of the PGA Championship qualify for next weeks $5 million WGC-NEC Invitational.
Next year, the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking will be eligible for the guaranteed prize money offered by the NEC - though that doesnt do Garcia any good this year.
Stupid, isnt it? said Garcia.
Including the PGA Championship, there are still four events left for Garcia to earn Ryder Cup points (European points are based on earnings).
Even if he doesnt get an automatic bid to the Cup - which will be contested at The Belfry near Birmingham, England, at the end of September ' Garcia can accept one of two captains picks given by Sam Torrance.
And judging by his play of late, Garcia is all but a certainty to, one way or another, make the team.
At just 21 years of age, Sergio's success has been a long time coming. He's played alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and David Duval for years now, but its only been lately that hes proven he truly belongs in their company.
Its not that I didnt feel like I could belong there before, but I felt like I wasnt consistent enough to belong there, Garcia said.
I just feel like Ive been really working hard and Ive been getting better and better on that and Im getting a little more consistent.