Garcia ‘relieved’ on breakthrough

Source:AFP Published: 2017/8/25 23:08:39

Master win boosts Spanish golfer’s confidence

Spain's Sergio Garcia described his victory at this year's Masters as a "relief" that proves he is capable of winning on the big stage after almost two decades of near-misses.

It's been a landmark season for the 37-year-old, who claimed his first major at Augusta in April in a record 74th attempt.

Prior to the victory, Garcia had finished in the top 10 spots at a major some 22 times - including four runner-up slots - earning him the unwanted reputation as the finest golfer never to lift a major title.

"Winning the Masters was amazing, and it gives you a little bit of a relief," Garcia said Friday at a launch event for the UBS Hong Kong Open in November.

"I guess that when you put yourself in that situation, now you know that you've done it under big pressure and at a huge stage."

He cited his relationship with golf reporter Angela Akins, whom he recently married, as a factor in his long-awaited victory.

The Spaniard has had a string of failed high-profile relationships, including with former tennis player Martina Hingis.

In 2009, he suffered a loss of form following his split with Morgan-Leigh Norman, the daughter of golfing great Greg Norman.

"When outside the golf course your life is in check and in good shape it obviously helps because your mind is at peace, you're comfortable and you're happy and all those things always help for sure," Garcia said.

He had previously told reporters after a frustrating Masters round in 2012 that he would never win a major because he "lacked the thing I need to have."

But ahead of Hong Kong Open - at which he will compete for the first time - Garcia warned his fellow professionals that he has set his sights on more tournament victories.

"The goals are to keep improving, to keep being consistent, like I've been fortunate to be my whole career, and to try to put myself in more winning situations, win more tournaments, as many as possible.

"I don't set myself a number ... I just try to put myself in that winning situation as much as possible."

Garcia added that he had worn the famous Augusta winner's Green Jacket at his wedding in July, albeit only for the reception.

"[For] the ceremony I was wearing a black suit, but at the reception for the dinner and stuff I was wearing it," he said.

"I guess you only get married once, and you don't [usually] have the chance of doing it in a Green Jacket. So it kind of worked out for me."

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