Oh, Sergio! How Masters winner Garca proved me wrong after all these years | Scott Murray

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After 73 disappointed attempts to triumph a major Sergio Garca eventually extended good at Augusta National and made the Lord having seemingly propelled his request away once again

On reflection it was wrong to pronounce we had been waiting for this since 1999. It is no longer a thing in 1999 at all. When the precocious 19 -year-old charmer Sergio Garca announced himself by inventing a six iron to the lettuce from behind a tree at that times US PGA Championship, sprinting up the fairway after it, then loping Tiger Woods close in a near-miracle at Medinah, it was simply assumed he would go on insouciantly to gather up armfuls of major deeds just like Tiger. But it did not work out like that.

Since then Todd Hamilton, Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Geoff Ogilvy, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Webb Simpson, Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir have won majors fine players but none possessing the innate elegance of Sergio. Ah well, the nature of golf. But no query Garca at one point mentally gave up the ghost, publicly declaring he did not possess the moxie to get the job done.

The warning signs started to twinkling at the 2007 Open. Sergio represented the third largest round at Carnoustie, during which he proved a three-shot lead over Steve Stricker and a six-shot advantage over Padraig Harrington, in garish gold and ruby-red. The Ronald McDonald aesthetic was a harbinger of incidents to come. Our Pulitzer-winning fourth-round hole-by-hole report started with a checklist for Sergio: 1. DO NOT WEAR AN ALL-YELLOW OUTFIT. 2. DO NOT COCK IT UP LIKE A CLOWN. PLEASE. He complied with part 1 at least, boasting a tasteful lime-green transcend with grey trousers. Our live blog finished with a resigned rustle: Oh, Sergio!

To be conscientiously fair, Sergio had not cocked it up like a clown at all; it is just very hard to triumph a major championship. Our blog too details the eventual win, Harrington, practically throwing it away himself, dumping his ball into the incense at the 18 th while nervously chomping on his tongue like hed exactly ingested a huge suitcase of speed.

But Oh, Sergio! would become a returning weep through the years, a desist seemingly designed to be talk forever and never fade away, like the coda to Hey Jude.

Sergio was disqualified for ratifying an incorrect scorecard at the 2007 US PGA. A years later at the same episode he found ocean at the 16 th while passing; his nemesis, Harrington, prevailed again. At the 2014 Open he chased down the governor Rory McIlroy, taking advantage of a huge escape which looked him slice an cast-iron late into a grandstand only for the ball to rattle back on to the apron of the light-green, from where he clambered par. But he gave up on a sprinkle from a bunker at the 15 th and the other scoot was moved. Hes visibly deflated, staring at the storey , noted the report. Can you understand a thousand yards past the storey?

Arguably the most Sergio-esque Sergical? moment did not even occur in one of the big four tournaments. At the 2013 Players Championship at Sawgrass, the unofficial fifth major, “hes been” neck and neck with Tiger on contacting the iconic island-green 17 th. Two missiles in the drink led to a quadruple bogey. He redoubled the last, exactly to make sure.

The Originals that time was special, extremely. He killed an opening-round 66, the big teasing, and in a brazen effort to tempt fate in his prefer, the dupe who helms these hole-by-hole reports introduced Sergios Official Masters Meltdown-o-Meter, designed to gauge his current state of mind. A was joyful Sergio; B looked slightly mournful; C pictured our protagonist kicking off his shoes, flinging associations and( aesthetic licence here) kicking a “cat-o-nine-tail” in a fit of impotent pique.

By the time he attracted his approach at the 11 th into the drink after jiggling around over the missile for so long he made Kevin Na look like Julius Boros, the hole-by-hole report had passed into a minimalist funk of its own: I have nothing else to say other than C.

Oh

It got to the point where all hope was pretty much become. Even before Sundays final round, after three days of steely Sergio resolve, few HBH books were prepared to give in to positivity. Sergio fan Simon Farnaby who knows a thing or two about golfing losers having co-authored this tome emailed: I hope it does get to Amen Corner. But it wont even get there, Im afraid. Hell doubled bogey 4, then fizzle away and we wont understand him again until he opens out on 18. This is a man who, over the last two decades, has regularly endowed parts equivalent to the annual GDP of Yorkshire in backing “the mens”. Irrational regular donor Hubert OHearn, in the aftermath of Sergios good testify on Thursday, was reduced to wearing the same drapes all week; his dog originated staring at him in a pitying manner.

Sergio being Sergio, he did all the things we feared he would do: carry the lead-in round Amen Corner, whistle drives into bushes, yip crucial short-lived putts in a tentative terror. Books quickly resorted to tried-and-trusted coping devices. I was hoping Sergio could make this years heartbreak more stylish and sophisticated, rustled James Ferguson. He is doing a good job of it so far. Just the right amount of false hope. This one is really going to hurt, isnt it?

Simon McMahon was at the bargaining place of dejection: If the unthinkable actually happened, what the fuck is we have done in June, July and August? Every cloud, eh? Elliot Carr-Barnsley, meanwhile, turned up late to the party and meditated: On a scale of one to 10, how likely am I to find the phrase Oh, Sergio! written here if I CTRL+ F it?

But Sunday night was different. Sergio regrouped, clambered equivalences, opened putts, accommodated his gut. With a marvelous narrative integrity listening back to Medinah he repaired not one but two situations from behind trees. He performed that eagle. And this time, he got there. Sergio Garca: major champion.

I was too busy molting happy weepings to post Ian Trumans email, which is an horrific dishonor as it caught the feeling of the HBH inbox. This is for us. All of us. 73 preambles worth of mentioning Sergio but never relatively feeling it. For going our hopes up on Saturday afternoons. For kicking our cats as a hundred short-lived putts missed low-spirited. All for this. Oh, Sergio, you hero.

Of course, Sergio being Sergio, there is a bittersweet aftertaste. Could he not have hit Jordan Spieth? Or Phil Mickelson, or Bubba, or someone else who has a Green Jacket? Because now I have started to worry about Justin Rose the boast, gentlemanly Justin Rose never fulfilling his undoubted Lord hope. Paws swept he will do it next year. He will do it some time, wont he? Oh, Justin!

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ boast/ blog/ 2017/ apr/ 10/ sergio-garcia-masters-major-golf-proved-wrong-7 3-failed-attempts

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