x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

The smile is back on Sergio Garcia's face

The Spaniard Sergio Garcia is returning to form and that can only be a good thing for the game of golf.

There have always been two sides to Sergio Garcia's personality.

At his best the Spaniard is funny, bubbly and great with the galleries. That is when things are going well.

When his game is not where it should be, which has been the case for well over two years now, Garcia comes across moody and full of self-pity.

It's been good to see more of the effervescent Spaniard in recent weeks. He may have lost a play-off to his countryman Pablo Larrazabal at the BMW International in Munich on Sunday, but the fact he put himself in contention to win again gave his many supporters cause to cheer.

This came on the back of a joint-seventh finish at the US Open, his best major performance since losing the 2007 British Open play-off to Padraig Harrington - a defeat which he is only just recovering from.

Garcia, once only second in the world rankings to Tiger Woods, dropped out of the top 80 and this year lost his major privileges.

Still, he fought back and qualified for all of them, including next month's British Open at Royal St George's, which will be his 49th consecutive major, the best record among active players.

Golf really could do with Garcia playing well and with a smile on his face. The grumpy version is no fun to watch and, I would imagine, no fun to be.

Maybe the European Ryder Cup legend needed to plumb the depths before he could think about scaling some heights again.

Welcome back, Sergio.