PGA Championship: No major title ‘not the end of the world’ for Sergio Garcia

Garcia tees off at Baltusrol in his 70th consecutive major dating to the 1999 British Open, this time alongside two-time major winner and world No 3 Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion.

Sergio Garcia, right, of Spain talks with Tiger Woods, left, of the US after Woods won the 81st PGA Championship 15 August, 1999 held at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. AFP PHOTO / JOHN ZICH
Powered by automated translation

Sergio Garcia makes his 73rd career major start on Thursday at the PGA Championship still searching for his first major title.

But the Spaniard, 36, has come to terms with his place in the conversation about best golfers never to win a major and what failing to ever win one might mean.

“If it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to change my life,” Garcia said. “I’m not going to go in a cave and stay there until I die because I didn’t win a major or anything like that. It’s not that serious.

“I’m not going to lie. It would be nice to get at least one. But it’s not the end of the world.”

Garcia tees off at Baltusrol in his 70th consecutive major dating to the 1999 British Open, this time alongside two-time major winner and world No 3 Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion.

More PGA Championship

• Thursday's tee times: PGA Championship first round and groups in UAE time

John McAuley: Five players capable of extending first-time major winner streak at the PGA Championship

Garcia has four runner-up showings and two third-places in majors among 22 top-10 major finishes without a triumph since missing the cut at the 1996 British Open in his major debut as a teen amateur.

“Maybe five or 10 years ago, it would have [bothered me]. But not anymore,” Garcia said. “I understand how difficult it is to win every week. The only thing I can do is just keep giving myself chances and just wait for it. Hopefully it will happen.”

First-time major winners have captured the past four in a row.

“I would love to make it five in a row,” Garcia said. “Obviously it would be very nice. But we’ll see. It’s a long week. My goal is to play well, to give myself another shot at winning a major, and then see what I can come up with.”

“It’s obviously nice to see new major winners, but every week is a different story.”

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson won the British Open two weeks ago at Royal Troon, beating 46-year-old Phil Mickelson to win his first major at age 40, giving Garcia hope and faith he has plenty more years to end his drought.

“What that shows me is never give up, keep giving myself chances and keep waiting for that day when things really happen my way and then hopefully I’ll be able to raise that trophy,” Garcia said.

“If you stay healthy, you still can give yourself a lot of chances here and there. That’s my goal, to keep giving myself chances and hopefully take as many as possible in the coming years.”

Garcia won the Byron Nelson Championship in May and has shared fifth at the US and British Opens since.

“I played fairly well at the US Open. At the Open Championship, I felt like my swing wasn’t quite there but I scrambled well. I scored well,” Garcia said.

“I guess for me that’s positive because it shows me that I don’t need to be perfectly in form to still have a chance going into majors.”

Garcia was twice a runner-up at the PGA Championship, coming second to Tiger Woods in 1999 at Medinah and to Padraig Harrington in 2008 at Oakland Hills.

He also finished second at the 2007 and 2014 British Opens and shared third at the 2005 US Open and 2006 PGA.

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport