Sergio Is Good Enough to Win a Major

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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“Whoa is me.” “I can’t win a major championship.” “If Tiger was playing in this weather, they would have callled off the round.” This was the old Sergio Garcia.  The new Sergio, “I am just going to have fun.” “I am not going to be as uptight.”  These have been the comments of Sergio in the past and present. The present day Sergio got it done; his first major in 74 tries. Was it fate or was it finally his turn?

The weather report was not favorable at the beginning of the 81st Masters Championship. There was going to be wind, cold and rain. With this thought in mind, the great Jack Nicklaus always knew who would be eliminated from a chance to win before the event commenced. I am sure the weather was on Sergio’s mind. But would he revert back to the “old” Sergio? Nope.  

Thursday was brutal and some of the scores mirrored the weather with one exception, Charley Hoffman fired a first round 65. Could this be Charley’s year?  Sergio found himself four shots back after day one with a 71, which was two shots better than the stroke average.  

Day two, Charley could not follow up a great round with another great round and shot 75 and found himself in a tie with Sergio, Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters. 

Day three, there was a gaggle of players in the hunt on “moving day”. Saturday was shaping up nicely for Sergio, Charley, Jordan, Justin and Rickie. Charley played well but finished with an even par round and would end up two shots back at day’s end. Justin Rose had the day’s low round with a 67 and was now at the top of the leaderboard with fellow Ryder Cupper, Sergio. It was going to be a Ryder shootout on Sunday as Rickie and Jordan were one and two shots back respectively of the leaders. Who would prevail?

Day four, where they say the Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday, was shaping up to be a historic showdown. However, the showdown between USA and Europe would never materialize. Rickie and Jordan never threatened Justin and Sergio. I believe that Jordan and Rickie thought it was between the two of them and that the other two would collapse and punched each other out in trying to beat each other, rather than trying to beat the entire field.

Standing on the main stage now were Sergio and Justin. They would have an epic battle. Sergio took the lead early in the final round, on the day of the birth of his longtime idol Seve Ballesteros. Was Seve watching over Sergio? Some think so.  Through the front nine Sergio and Justin were tied at eight under par and putting some distance between them and the field.  

Then the thinkable began to happen to Sergio again as it has in past Masters. Sergio will tell you he does not like holes 10 and 11 and it was apparent as he walked off of the 11th hole two shots back. Do you think Sergio was thinking “oh no not again”? Sergio steadied the ship with a birdie on 14 and an epic eagle on 15 to go to nine under par and now tied with Justin, who could only muster a birdie on the 15th hole. Both players hit it close on 16 and appeared as though they would make birdie and remain tied. Hold it…remember Justin and Sergio are not known for being great putters. While Justin made and Sergio missed, now one shot back with two holes to play, Justin would reciprocate with a bogey on 17 to be tied going into the 18th hole. Again, both threw great shots into the green and had the chance to close the deal; but, it was not to be. The bulky putter bit both players again. Justin came close and Sergio didn’t even sniff the hole.

So, they head back to the 18th hole where Justin made a mess of the hole while Sergio striped his drive right down the middle of the fairway, and stiffed his second shot. Only needing a two putt for the win, in true Seve fashion, he nailed the birdie for his first major win in 74 tries. 

I really felt great for Sergio, as this was the only title keeping him from being considered one of the greater players in the game today. However, I was miffed by the dismal performance of Jordan and Rickie on Sunday. By far, both are better putters than Justin and Sergio; but ultimately, it came down to shot-makers and Sergio was the best tactician. Great win Sergio!

The question now is can he win another or will he be a one hit wonder? Stay tuned to find out.

In the meantime, be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on ArizonaSports 98.7 FM or on the internet at for more tips  and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. 

Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.