COMMENTARY | Regardless of your opinion on Sergio Garcia the person these days, Sergio Garcia the professional golfer is playing at an incredibly high level.
Garcia managed an even par 72 in the opening round of this week's 2013 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the European Tour's flagship event. While not overly impressive at the surface, Garcia's round was impressive considering the pressure he has experienced due to his recent, well, extracurricular activities.
Garcia's play throughout the season has been even more impressive. He is currently ranked in the top 15 on the Official World Golf Ranking; his highest ranking in years. As a member of both the PGA and European Tours, Garcia's statistics and performance place him squarely in the upper echelon of all players on either side of the pond.
On the PGA Tour side, for example, Garcia is ranked no. 39 on the FedEx Cup points list and no. 22 on the tour's money list. According to the Tour's website, he has made the cut in each of the eight events he has played and has finished in the top 25 seven times. He has managed four top 10 finishes during that stretch, including a third place finish at the WGC - Cadillac Championship. Thanks to a scoring average of 70.26, Garcia has already pocketed more than $1.3 million in tournament winnings on tour.
The story remains the same when looking at Garcia's performance on the European Tour this year. Garcia is currently ranked third in the Race to Dubai rankings, having earned more than 770,000 euros. He has played six tournaments on that tour - which includes the WGC - Cadillac Championship, WGC - Accenture Match Play and The Masters - and has not placed lower than seventeenth in any appearance. His scoring average on the Euro Tour (69.65) is almost a full shot better than his PGA Tour average.
The trend continues when you look at Garcia's performance stats. His driving distance average is over 287 yards on both the PGA and Euro Tours (287.7 yards and 292.44 yards, respectively). His driving accuracy is right around 60 percent on both tours (60.43 percent and 59.82 percent) while his Greens in Regulation percentage remain above average (67.90 percent and 77.08 percent).
What is Garcia's most impressive individual statistic this season? He boasts an astonishing .989 strokes gained while putting ratio on the PGA Tour, which is second only to his friend Tiger Woods.
All things considered, Sergio Garcia is having one hell of a season on the golf course. While he finds himself in the middle of the pack after his first round at this week's BMW PGA Championship - and six shots behind leader James Kingston at 6-under par - he is very much on pace to make the tournament cut and play on the weekend.
For Garcia's sake, it may be best to keep his nose to the grind for the time being and focus on playing some of the best golf of his career. He may also want to steer clear of any press conferences or microphones for a bit, as well.
Adam Fonseca has been writing about golf since 2005. His work can be found on numerous digital outlets including the Back9Network and SB Nation. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife. Follow Adam on Twitter @chicagoduffer.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sergio Garcia
- BMW PGA Championship