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Garcia: I'd rather be runner-up than run-of-the-mill

With a recent PGA Tour record which reads second, second, second, Sergio Garcia could be forgiven for taking a negative attitude into the 96th US PGA Championship, which gets under way on today.

After all, this is the man who famously bemoaned his bad luck when he squandered a three-shot lead in the final round of the Open at Carnoustie before losing a play-off to Pádraig Harrington.

And it is the same man who told reporters at the Masters in 2012 that he was not good enough to win a major and had concluded he needed to "play for second or third place."

But Garcia is very much taking the positives from his recent run of form, which saw him push Rory McIlroy all the way in the Open Championship and then let slip a three-shot lead over his Ryder Cup team-mate in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday. "Obviously finishing second is not the greatest but the only guy that loses is the one that has a chance of winning," Garcia said. "I'd rather finish second and lose than be 50th and not have a chance."


Told that Jack Nicklaus had said he was a victim of bad timing to play so well just as McIlroy was on top form, Garcia added: "I wouldn't say bad timing. I think playing well, it's always great.

"And if somebody else is playing better than you, there's nothing you can do. I can see what Jack is referring to in a way, but the only thing I can do is try to play the best I can and to the best of my ability on that certain day."

Garcia failed to win a match when Europe lost the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in 2008, managing two halves from three team matches and losing the opening singles 5&4 to Anthony Kim in a fiery affair. But the 34-year-old could even reflect on that with a smile, adding: "I remember the first hole with Anthony. We both hit it stiff to like two feet and I asked him for a half and he said no. I gave it to him and then he made me putt mine."