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Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cup brings out best in Garcia

Sergio owns 14-4-2 career record in Ryder matches

Sergio Garcia hits out of a sand trap during a practice round for the Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club on Tuesday in Louisville, Ky.

Sergio Garcia hits out of a sand trap during a practice round for the Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club on Tuesday in Louisville, Ky.

September 17, 2008

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— Except for the freckles and playful grin, it's a wonder anyone recognizes Sergio Garcia at the Ryder Cup.

The Spaniard, who can't seem to make a 4-foot putt with a major championship on the line, can't seem to miss from 20 feet when playing for a golf trophy he has to share.

Garcia is considered the best player to never win a major. For one week every two years, he is simply the best.

There are no excuses at the Ryder Cup, only celebrations.

"He brings a lot of passion to this team. When you see Sergio, you see Seve," European captain Nick Faldo said Tuesday, referring to Seve Ballesteros, Garcia's countryman and former Ryder Cup star. "They love this event. Obviously, match play is different, isn't it? And he gets fired up. He's great off the golf course. So he's a key member to the team."

Garcia has never lost in eight alternate-shot matches, and the only U.S. team to beat him in fourballs was Tiger Woods and Davis Love III. Garcia is 6-1 against Woods and Phil Mickelson in team matches.

Even more astounding is a 14-4-2 record in his four Ryder Cup appearances.

"If you had to pick one guy out as the toughest test, that you would say is the guy to beat, I'd have to pick Sergio," Jim Furyk said.

And make no mistake - the Americans would love nothing more than to beat him.

Garcia has proven to be the best at hitting pivotal shots, holing clutch putts and staking Europe to big leads.

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