Sport Golf

Sunday 17 December 2017

Reborn Sergio needs to win again for place in Shanghai world championships

SERGIO Garcia is finally back as a winner in golf - but he needs to do it again this Sunday if he is to play in next week's world championship in China.

An incredible 11-stroke, 27 under par victory in his home Castello Masters yesterday ended nearly three barren years for the 31-year-old Spaniard.

Despite his climb back into the world's top 35, Garcia became only ninth reserve for the WGC-HSBC Champions starting on Thursday week.

Whoever takes this week's Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, however, goes straight into the elite 78-man field in Shanghai, where Garcia went to world number two by triumphing in 2008.

After that he slumped outside the game's leading 75, making no secret of how much it hurt him when Greg Norman's daughter Morgan-Leigh broke off their relationship.

Now he has another girlfriend and there were signs all summer that he was starting to become a force again.

As well as finishing in the top 12 of the last three majors Garcia lost a five-hole play-off at the BMW International Open in Munich in June.

A four-week break before playing on his home course played a part. He said they were "mother's milk for me" and, fully rested, he left the rest for dead.

It was the biggest win of the European Tour season by three and 27 under has been bettered only once in the circuit's history. Ernie Els finished 29 under at the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic.

"I've worked hard," he said after dedicating the win to the late Seve Ballesteros.

"I would like to thank not only my family and friends, but also my sponsors, everyone that's around me, for supporting me through two tough years.

"They have stuck with me and believed in me and I'm happy to be able to pay them back with this victory.

"At the beginning of the week there's always a little extra pressure because you want to do well in front of your home fans and on your home course.

"But I felt really good and it showed. Hopefully I can keep moving forward, but there are still some things I can improve on.

"I thing we are going the right way, but that doesn't mean that it's time to relax. I still want to continue enjoying myself on and off of the golf course.

Press Association

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