I was preparing a Sergio narrative after his extraordinary back nine on Friday afternoon. Even after Saturday’s round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Garcia held a 3-stroke lead over now world number 1, Rory McIlroy. I was ready to place the victory toward the top of Garcia’s entire career list of achievements.
Maybe it was self-fulfilling prophesy.
In 2012, it was Sergio Garcia issuing these awkwardly damning comments regarding his own golf game. Despite the awesome confidence he’s displayed in 2014, I hope these comments didn’t linger in his subconscious.
“I’m not good enough. I don’t have the thing I need to have,” he said. “In 13 years today the conclusion is I need to play for second or third place.”
Asked whether he meant the Masters tournament specifically (as the comments were made in early April 2012) and he replied: “No, in any major I am not good enough. I have my chances and my opportunities and I waste them. I have no more options. I waste my options. Tell me something I can do.”
It’s clear Garcia is wrong in his self-assessement– as he obviously possesses the talent–but it leaves me wondering what is missing. Back-to-back weeks, he held two polar opposite positions to Rory McIlroy, but both times finished as the bridesmaid.
A 6-stroke deficit at The Open was too much to overcome despite fantastic play on Sunday. This week, a 3-stroke lead at Firestone wasn’t enough, as Rory had closed the gap in only a few holes on Sunday.
So what is the magical, winning formula for one of the world’s best ball strikers and top talents? Sergio, I don’t know.
To me, this isn’t as much a Sergio Garcia issue as it is a Rory McIlroy one. When Rory’s playing the way he did this week– averaging 330+ yards off the tee and putting with deft precision– he will be untouchable for years to come. This started a while ago…
Sergio Garcia may be a victim of an era. The prime of his entire career will sit in the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy years. This will leave a dent on his trophy mantle that he will never be able to fill.
I still believe in Sergio’s ability and I see him as a major champion. This week was an unfortunate ending to an otherwise incredible week.
Just right now, Rory McIlroy is too good.