Sergio Garcia’s win at Augusta National Golf Club is a thought-provoking one. The life parallels in his win stick out like an Augusta caddy in a pink suit. His victory is an example of why we love golf so much. The game is a physical test, but it’s the mental test we love.
Swing speed, attack angle and smash factor are important, but Garcia didn’t attribute the win to any of that. He spoke about his temperament and his ability to deal with adversity. Garcia’s survival on holes No. 10 through 13 was brilliant. That’s where he won his first major. Garcia weathered the storm; perhaps the old Garcia would have been put away.
El Niño played No. 14 and 15 at three under par, but it was his one-over stretch on 10 through 13 that should be eulogized. And there was some shaky putting down the stretch because frankly, Garcia won’t be remembered for his work with the flat stick. His miss at No. 16 was heartbreaking, his stroke at No. 17 looked like a wizard waving a wand and the miss at No. 18 might be the worst read in the history of golf. Garcia knocks down flag sticks; he did that on No. 14, 15, 16, 17 (kind of), 18 and on 18 again in the sudden death playoff. His ball striking on the final six holes was flawless.
Garcia said after the round that Augusta National Golf Club is a golf course for a draw player and that he prefers to hit a fade. Imagine winning a major on a golf course that doesn’t suit your game…
Garcia made so many people proud yesterday: Angela Akins, Victor Garcia, José María Olazábal and Seve Ballesteros come to mind. That was fun to watch; thanks, Sergio.