x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sergio Garcia relights his fire in time to ignite Ryder Cup team

Such have been the recent travails of Sergio Garcia, it was almost predictable his victory at the Wyndham Championship would be overshadowed by Augusta National's decision to allow women to take up membership.

With his win at the Wyndham Championship Sergio Garcia seems to be peaking right at the perfect time for Jose Maria Olazabal and the European Ryder Cup team.
With his win at the Wyndham Championship Sergio Garcia seems to be peaking right at the perfect time for Jose Maria Olazabal and the European Ryder Cup team.

Such have been the recent travails of Sergio Garcia, it was almost predictable his victory at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday would be overshadowed by Augusta National's decision, decades too late, to allow women to take up membership.

While golf celebrated a considerable triumph, Garcia was toasting a first win on the PGA Tour in four years and a place on the European Ryder Cup team. The latter could provide the catalyst to a return to the form that once catapulted the 32 year old to the world No 2 spot.

A confident Garcia offers Europe a significant weapon next month at Medinah in the defence of the trophy.

Nothing stirs the Spaniard's blood quite like the Ryder Cup.

Having first sampled the biennial clash in 1999 as a 19 year old, Garcia has featured in five since, albeit in 2010 as a non-playing vice-captain.

His remarkable record stands at 14 match victories, six defeats and four halves.

No one in Jose Maria Olazabal's camp in Chicago will effuse as much emotion as the PGA Tour's latest champion.

Putting, so long his Achilles heel, has improved markedly - last year Garcia was 144th in America for strokes saved on greens, this season he is 38th.

Add that to his incredible ball-striking and a better on-course temperament, and the Wyndham win could represent a watershed moment in Garcia's career.

Europe could reap the rewards just as much as the man himself.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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