Recharged and refocused, Garcia seeks to regain game

Sergio Garcia at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic.

Sergio Garcia at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic.

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Sergio Garcia began the 2009 season ranked No. 2 in the world. This week, he makes his first PGA Tour start of the season ranked 85th.

Between those bookends, he suffered a broken heart after a girlfriend breakup, lost his enthusiasm for the game and lost the game that made him a top-10 player for about a decade.

“A mix of those things kind of pulled me down,” Garcia said during a media briefing Wednesday at the Transitions Championship. “When you’ve been (highly ranked for so long), it’s a little bit tougher to swallow I guess.”

Garcia, 31, was asked if he wants to get back into the top 10. You might say his answer was interesting, as well as different from his views of a decade ago.

“No, not really,” he said. “I know I’ll be there. I think it’s a matter of time more than wanting to.” 

 Garcia took a couple of months off after last August’s PGA Championship. He says the break helped him recharge and start loving the game again. A tie for ninth this year at the Qatar Masters also lifted him.

“It’s definitely improved a lot,” Garcia said of his enthusiasm. “I definitely feel like I want to be out there. I’m looking forward to trying to hit shots. I can do better, but at least if you’re looking forward to it, it helps.”

Garcia said his game feels good but needs to improve under the pressure of contention. He is competing this week, next week at Bay Hill and at the Masters but says his primary goals are to enjoy playing, let things happen and keep improving.

“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. 

Clearly Garcia is more accepting than before. Slumps will do that. He made a point to say he doesn’t view his future in terms of “I should be there.”

Rather, he’s seeking to regain the confidence that made him one of the world’s best players at a young age.

“When you are feeling confident,” he said, “you don’t think about things. You just kind of do them.”

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