Three weeks after European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal talked about Garcia needing to get his emotions in check if he wanted to make the team, the Spaniard delivered a masterclass performance at the Wyndham Championship. Holding a one-shot lead heading into the final round, Garcia maintained his one-stroke advantage through the first four holes before rain forced tournament officials to halt play for the day and bring players back to the course for a Monday finish.
When Garcia returned on Monday morning, he looked like a guy who hadn't skipped a beat. Even though he didn't record a birdie until the 11th hole, Garcia found his game when it mattered most, picking up five birdies over his final eight holes to win by two over Tim Clark.
The final-round 66 was the kind of performance Olazabal was hoping to see from Garcia before he announced his final team in the coming weeks. His 14-6-4 record was reason enough to include Garcia, but after making the team as a vice-captain two years ago, at the age of 30, Olazabal had to be absolutely sure the Spaniard's head was in the right place.
He picked up two wins last season on the European Tour, but if there was one thing Olazabal wanted to see, it was a strong final push from Garcia, who produced his first PGA Tour win in more than four years.
After struggling with his game at various points this year, Garcia was able to come through when it mattered. For a guy who's had trouble in the consistency department, the win at the Wyndham could be just the thing to not only boost Garcia's confidence ahead of the Ryder Cup, but also give him a shot in the arm to contend, and possibly win, a major before his career is over.
We talk all the time about Lee Westwood and Luke Donald being the best players to have never won a major. But there's no question Garcia deserves to be lumped into that group as well -- especially when he's on his game. And he certainly looks to be on his game at the moment.
We'll have to wait seven months to see if the win has any effect at the Masters. For now, however, it's all about the Ryder Cup and Sergio Garcia once again playing a major role. Whether you want to admit it or not, the biennial event is always better when he plays a major role.
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