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Devil Ball Golf

Are we at the dawn of a rebirth for Sergio Garcia? Yes? No?

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The third-most-overplayed line of the U.S. Open, besides "historic win" and "Rory McIlroy is the new Tiger Woods," was the "if you had told ... " angle. As in, "if you had told Sergio Garcia last week that he'd shoot 5-under in a U.S. Open, you think he'd be happy?" (Hey, we're not pointing fingers, we used all three angles here ourselves.)

Now, let's put aside the question of why, if you knew the future, you'd waste time telling people about it instead of going and making a killing in Vegas. (Or, to go down the wormhole, why you'd tell the people who are actually creating the future, since that could potentially disrupt it and plunge us all into chaos. Perhaps I've watched too many episodes of "Lost.")

ANYway, one guy that has to be insanely pleased with how his Open turned out has to be Garcia. He's carried that "best guy never to win a major" label for so long it's faded and torn. (And probably not even applicable, as Lee Westwood and Luke Donald have a pretty fair claim.) He came along just two years after Tiger Woods won his landmark 1997 Masters, and the burden of an instant, media-driven rivalry was apparently too much for Garcia to bear.

When asked on Sunday about his chances for taking a major, Garcia was somber: "I don't know. I think maybe I'll get lucky one day ... I'm just trying to get better. I know at the moment it's probably tough for me to get one because things are still not right. But it's getting there, and hopefully it'll get there soon."

He's still soldiering on, and even now is only in his early 30s. He's got plenty of time to get those majors, and he's showing some signs of a game renaissance. After walking away from golf entirely for a time last year, he's posted six top 20s so far in 2011. He's not astonishing anyone, but maybe he shouldn't even try to. Didn't work the first time around.

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