Sergio Garcia moves on from Masters disaster
Time and distance heals all wounds.
So, too, Sergio Garcia found out, does changing diapers.
And hooking up with Ben Crenshaw to win a golf tournament.
That was part of the unique blueprint that helped Garcia get over his Masters nightmare when, as the reigning winner of the green jacket, he hit five consecutive shots into the water guarding the 15th hole in the first round.
Instead of sulking after making an octuple-bogey 13 on the par 5 — that’s the highest score ever recorded on the hole in Masters history and it tied for the highest score on any hole ever during the tournament — Garcia got busy getting over it. Basically, there wasn’t time to mope as he went about his life in his new home of Texas with his wife, Angela, and month-old daughter, Azalea.
Ahead of his Thursday tee time in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, Garcia played a little golf but mostly spent time with his family, including his mom and dad and his wife’s parents, who own a 1,200-acre ranch hear Austin, which provided a soothing setting to vanquish any lingering Masters pain.
He also thought back to the great moments he had at the Masters, including the Champions Dinner he hosted and introducing his daughter to her namesake ” the 13th hole at Augusta National.
Having a green jacket helped ease the anguish, too, he said. And pulling daddy duties was a hit — “Changed a lot of nappies,” Garcia said, referencing the British term for diaper.
“It’s one of those things that happens and it’s happened to me before and it probably will happen again in the future. That’s the nature of golf,” Garcia said of his debacle on the 15th hole, which started when his 6-iron approach wound up a yard short and rolled back into the water. He then hit four balls with his wedge into the water, with each shot looking like it would stay on the green before spinning and then rolling back into the water.
“It’s not something new, but no, you just deal with it the best way possible,” Garcia said. “I was trying to hit the right shots throughout the process and unfortunately the result didn’t want to come out the way maybe it should have.”
Garcia returns to the PGA Tour after a week off with a return to TPC San Antonio Oaks Course, which he helped design with Greg Norman. He’s playing in his first Valero Texas Open since 2010 and he got reacquainted with the 7,435-yard course Tuesday in a 9-hole round and in Wednesday’s pro-am.
“It’s a solid golf course, a tough golf course, we know that,” said Garcia, who has won three of his 10 PGA Tour titles in his adopted state of Texas, where his wife is from. “It’s going to be breezy all week so there’s going to be a lot of patience required through the week.”
Garcia also heads into the tournament coming off a win. He and Crenshaw, a winner of the Masters in 1984 and 1995, teamed to win the two-day member-member tournament at Austin Golf Club.
“We managed to win it. That was nice,” Garcia said.
So all in all, there are no demons haunting Garcia after the Masters. He knows he’ll revisit his unlucky 13 in the future in upcoming interviews but for now, it’s in the past.
“You’ve just got to deal with it and put it behind you and keep moving forward,” he said. “Obviously, the Masters, it’s massive, it’s very important, but it’s one week and you can’t let one week ruin your whole year.”