Golf: Sergio Garcia Continues Good 2013 Start At Riveria

By Les Bailey
Sergio Garcia
Debbie Wong-USA Today Sports

Ever since Sergio Garcia missed the cut at the 2012 PGA Championship last year, he has come back with a vengeance. The 32-year-old Spaniard shot an opening round -6 under par 65 on Thursday at the Northern Trust Open to finish the day with sole possession of second place, one stroke off the pace set by Matt Kuchar. Garcia finished in a tie for fourth place at Riveria Country Club last year before going into the tank for most of the year.

In his first PGA start of the new year, Garcia began his day on the back nine, with a hat trick full of birdies before picking up his only bogey of the day at the 13th hole. He made the turn at 34 and put four more birdies on the card including finishing his round with one at nine. Sergio Garcia has put a nice start together at what is a pretty difficult golf course.

Sergio had become almost a laughing stock on both tours after his famous duel with Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship. He has always been a poster boy for the old Sam Snead saying “drive for show, putt for dough“. After missing the cut at Kiawah Island last year, he showed up at the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs with a new scissor grip on his putter, and has been on his game since.

He carded an -18 under par total to win The Wyndahm in his first outing with the new grip to take the early lead in the playoffs. A tie for third at the Barclays the following week before falling to a T24 at The BMW, and a T15 at the Tour Championship would bring him up a little short. All of a sudden Sergio Garcia has become a factor in professional golf again.

Jim Furyk fell to the Spaniard at the Ryder Cup in a 1Dn loss in the Sunday Singles matchup. Garcia finished the 2012 event at Medinah with 2-2-0 record, but the big win on Sunday helped Team Europe secure the cup until 2014.

Garcia took his new putting stroke back to the European Tour and finished the Race To Dubai at the DP, World Tour Championships, Dubai with a T9 in the season finale. He has remained active in Africa, picking up a second place tie at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, and a T17 at The Omega Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago.

It appears to me, Sergio Garcia has put in the work and preparation for the 2013 season, and is looking to take his golfing career to the next level. His resume is missing that all important major championship. He missed the the cut at both the US Open, and The PGA Championship in 2012, and is wanting to change that statistic soon. Maybe as soon as April.

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