Tuesday July 24, 2007
Garcia: I’m cursed, not a choker
CARNOUSTIE: Sergio Garcia insisted he would bounce back from the trauma of throwing away his chance to claim his first major title at a British Open he had led from the opening day.
The petulant tenor of his remarks after losing out to Padraig Harrington in a play-off on Sunday evening however suggest that this was an experience that could leave lasting scars on the 27-year-old's psyche.
And despite a closing 73, he would still have won if he had been able to par the final hole after Harrington had twice found water on the 18th.
Instead, he opted for an iron off the tee, leaving himself with a three-iron second that he deposited into a greenside bunker before seeing his ten-foot par putt lip out.
But the Spaniard was still convinced he had scarcely put a foot wrong.
I definitely struggled a little bit on the front nine I had my opportunities but I didn't convert them, he said.
But then I felt like I played great on the back nine. I felt like when you need to play well, I rarely missed a shot, and I just couldn't really make any putts.
Garcia's acute sense that he is uniquely cursed would have been encouraged by his experience of playing the second play-off hole, par three 16th, where his tee shot struck the pin and ricocheted to about 20 feet from the hole.
It is funny some guys hit the pin and it goes in or goes to a foot away. Mine hit the pin and it ends up 20 feet away. The saddest thing is, I'm playing a lot of guys out there, not just the field.
It seems to me that every time I get in this kind of position I have no room for error. I rarely get any good breaks. AFP