Perhaps winning a green jacket has made Sergio Garcia wiser. Or maybe credit is owed to fatherhood. But the 38-year-old Garcia has arrived for his third British Open at Carnoustie with a sense of calmness absent in his previous trips.
The Forecaddie can’t help but remember the lasting image of a 19-year-old Garcia crying in his mother’s arms after missing the cut badly in 1999. Or in 2007, when Garcia lost to Padraig Harrington in a playoff before bemoaning that the golf gods were against him.
“I’m playing against a lot of guys out there,” Garcia said back then. “More than the field.”
Now a Masters champion and father to a baby girl, Azalea, Garcia has nothing but love for the links giant known otherwise as “Carnasty.”
“It’s one of my favorite courses,” Garcia said Tuesday as he preps for another Open at Carnoustie. “I’ve always felt like this golf course plays tough, but also is fair. It doesn’t need to be tricked up to play the way we like it to play at an Open.”
Garcia said he still hears much about the final-round 73 and missed playoff putt here 11 years ago. Yet he chooses to remain positive as he continues to chase his dream of being crowned Champion Golfer of the Year.
(Don’t think that because Garcia has a green jacket hanging in his closet that he doesn’t want a Claret Jug any less.)
“I say to them, well, you’ve got to realize that yeah, even though that was disappointing, at the same time you have to realize all the good things that I had to do to give myself that chance of winning the Open,” Garcia said. “So the only thing I can do is try to do more of those good things, give myself another shot at it and hopefully we’ll be able to hoist it one time.”
Garcia’s daughter, of course, was named after the 13th hole at Augusta National. Should he win this week at Carnoustie, The Man Out Front wonders if we’ll ever see a Barry Garcia (in reference of Carnoustie’s famous burn) should the Garcias ever have a baby boy.
“We already have an idea if we have a boy,” Garcia said, smiling.