Monday, 29 September 2008

Sergio Garcia, ever the bridesmaid, in talks with Bob Geldof to release novelty song, "I don't like Sundays"...

Sergio had his sunday face on once more...
How many times can it happen to one man. Yet again Sergio Garcia watches another man lift a trophy that could so easily have been his, while he's left to lick his wounds in the corner. For the fourth time in eight tournaments Sergio takes the bridesmaids cheque. It's becoming a real problem for Garcia, who's garnering a real reputation for not being able to seal the deal. The European Open, The USPGA, The Barclays and The Tour Championship all have gone by the wayside, each were close but no cigar for El Nino. He hasn't had the smoke of a winner since the TPC at Sawgrass for all his chances.

The latest in his run of near misses was on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Camillo Villegas hit a 66 to get to 7 under, having been five shots behind Garcia. Sergio's 71 saw him slip back into the Colombian Spider-web and it went to a play-off. You just knew in your water that the perfect symmetry of Lee Westwood's tournament across the water would continue and so it did - Garcia lost the play-off at the first hole. There was to be no quick redemption for either of the under-performing Ryder stars. Garcia was frustrated that yet again he had let a lead slip.

"I just didn't play well enough, I doubted myself too much early on and it cost me. I just didn't commit to my shots the way I should have, and then I paid the price. I lacked a bit of commitment. The freedom that I've been having with every part of my game, it wasn't there early on."

Sergio can take consolation by looking at the career of another Ryder Cup team mate who failed to perform at Valhalla. Padraig Harrington, the man who has inflicted the most damage in consigning Sergio to second at two of the last five Major Championships didn't have the winners touch for a long time. In fact the most remarkable thing about his early career was the number of times he finished second in European Tour events without ever bettering that position. It got ridiculous at one point, he had four second places in five events in late 1999 and he got slated left, right and centre for his inability to take the win. No one's calling him a choker these days.

The lesson is - take your seconds, your wins will come.

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