Yesterday, Sergio Garcia turned 40. That doesn’t seem possible … for a couple of reasons: First, it doesn’t seem that long ago he was a teen-ager battling Tiger for the 1999 PGA Championship. Second, he still seems like a kid – not a 40 year old man. About a year ago … he went crazy in a tournament and damaged 5 greens … AND destroyed a bunker during a temper tantrum.
Yet, he can be really charming and likable. His lack of phoniness is what saves him. You want to forgive his childish antics because he’s still a child. Wait … he’s not a child! He doesn’t seem to have any self-control. That can make for really interesting interviews and observations … but his pouting and tantrums are tiresome.
Sergio seems to grow-up when he’s representing more than himself. He’s the all-time point leader in the Ryder Cup and really thrives in the matches – especially when he has a partner. His record as an individual is not as good … he needs the team concept to be his best as a player and a person.
Maybe too much success happened too young. He’s the son of a Golf Pro and won everything as a junior – even won a European Tour event as an amateur. When he battled with Tiger in 1999 … it looked like he’d be the European version of Tiger.
However, he turned into the classic victim of the golf gods. He really believed that fate was out to get him. His playoff loss in the 2007 British Open did have some bad breaks … but he should have already won a couple of British Opens by then anyway … good luck or bad.
His golf swing is ridiculously good. Very Hoganesque with that flat swing and extra-long lag. A fantastic iron player and hits it far … a really talented player. However, we all know that being a golf champion is more than just being talented.
Hopefully, his 40’s are when he reaches his potential. He’s not too old physically … and maybe marriage and fatherhood are what he’s needed to calm-down and grow-up.
Maybe 40 is the new 30 … especially for someone as youngish as Sergio. But hopefully, he now has the maturity of a 40 year old. Happy Birthday.
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386