February 10, 2011
Don't look, but a familiar name is just two shots back of Rory McIlroy at the Dubai Desert Classic.
No, it isn't world No. 1 Lee Westwood. It sure isn't the second-ranked player in the world Martin Kaymer, and it definitely isn't the third best in the world, Tiger Woods, who made up the terrific trio that the European Tour put together on Thursday.
The guy that opened with a 5-under 67 is ... Sergio Garcia?
Yes, the man that stopped playing golf at the end of last year because he said he needed to find love for the game again has had a pretty sneaky-good 2011 if you think about it. He opened the year at the Volvo Golf Championships where he finished 30th, but could pull some positives away, including a good opening round (he matched the 67 on Thursday).
Then, just last week at the Qatar Masters, Garcia finished ninth, his best finish on the European Tour since October of 2009.
Does this mean that Garcia found that love for the game again, or is it finally the time where the 31-year-old shuts off the demons between his ears and just lets his talent seep through to the golf course?
Nobody knows, and there are still three rounds to go, but wouldn't it be an incredible surprise if Garcia continued to improve? What if he kept making strides, and then heroically, majestically, strolled up to the 72nd hole at Augusta National and dropped a putt to win the whole enchilada?
Maybe that's a pipe dream, but what if? It sure would give us something to write about.