You never quite know what Sergio Garcia is up to next. One minute he's winning the Players Championship and the next he's missing cuts at a consistent rate. One minute he's 19, making a run at a major championship, and the next he's 30, taking two months off from the game that made him famous.
But, Garcia is back from his hiatus, and seems energized to be playing again. A vice captain at the Ryder Cup (And for full disclosure, a very good vice captain as it appeared), Garcia decided to leave golf for two months after the PGA Championship, admitting in one of his most honest interviews, "I need to miss the game a little bit." As you can see at Whistling Straits, where Garcia missed the cut after going "Full Metal Jacket" on a greenside bunker, the time was much needed.
But Sergio is back. Starting Thursday, Garcia will be playing in his hometown at the Castello Masters. He said he's ready to get back to golf, and then pulled a little Ernie Els move on us, telling the world that he wants to be No. 1. From the Associated Press:
"I needed a break because I had lost the desire to play, and practicing had become an obligation.
"Since turning pro 12 years ago I have not had a proper break -- even when you take two weeks out during the season you are practicing," Garcia added. "Now, on the contrary, I feel full of energy again and actually enjoy practicing. I have set myself new goals. I hope to return gradually to where I should be and perform to my full potential, that is to be world No. 1."
Wow, sounds like quite the different man than a couple of months ago. While Sergio has always been an easy target for writers and bloggers alike, the guy is good for golf and having him energized and back on the links can only be a positive thing.
Does Garcia have that "it" factor to actually win a major championship before his career is done? Nobody can really say at this point, because it seems anytime he's there, a mistake or two keeps him from closing it out. Does a new-found respect for the game that he has always excelled in give him a better chance at this in the coming years? Absolutely, and maybe more guys should take a page out of Garcia's book and step away for an extended period of time when things get gloomy.