Sergio Garcia not worried about form ahead of Ryder Cup

Spaniard was a controversial pick for Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team

Sergio Garcia practices  ahead of the Portugal Masters. Photograph:  Warren Little/Getty Images

Sergio Garcia practices ahead of the Portugal Masters. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Sergio Garcia insists he has nothing to prove ahead of next week’s Ryder Cup, despite his controversial wild card selection. Garcia won the 2017 US Masters but has missed the cut in his last five major championship starts, with his only top-10 finish in a strokeplay event since March coming in the French Open at the Ryder Cup venue of Le Golf National.

“I don’t need to show anyone,” the 38-year-old said ahead of the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura. “The only thing I have to do is go out there and help team Europe, my team-mates and my captain and vice-captains - not only with the game on the golf course but outside, in the team room and everything.

“There are things that are important to have in a team. I think that is one of the reasons why Thomas (Bjorn, European captain) picked me, not only because of the game he knows I can play but what I can bring outside of the golf course into the team room and stuff.”

Garcia has not competed since the middle of August, a tie for 24th in the Wyndham Championship proving insufficient to qualify for the play-offs via the top 125 on the FedEx Cup standings.

“I told Thomas, ‘If you end up picking me, I’ll make sure that I play something coming into the Ryder Cup’,” added Garcia, who needs three points in Paris to overtake Nick Faldo as the top European points scorer in Ryder Cup history. “I didn’t want to be without playing for four or five weeks coming into such a big and amazing event.

“Portugal seemed like a good fit and I’m happy that I decided to come here. Obviously the course is nice, it’s going to be a good test and I’m excited for it. I took a couple of weeks off and started practising again. The game feels pretty good. Obviously there are some things here and there that I would love to do a little bit better and that’s what I’m working on. The game overall feels good.

“It’s just a matter of hopefully getting some good momentum, start building on that. If I can do that then I can gain some confidence and some good rhythm, that’s the goal this week. “Obviously getting a win would be amazing, you can’t beat confidence. That would be nice but more than anything I just want to get some rhythm, get some competition juices flowing, that’s one of the main reasons that I wanted to come here.”

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen is the only other member of the Ryder Cup team competing in Vilamoura, a place he knows well. “It’s a place I always like to come back to,” Olesen said. “I actually went here earlier this year to train for five days with my coach and caddie. It’s a place I’ve always enjoyed coming to - nice weather, good food.”

Ryder Cup vice-captain Padraig Harrington, a Portugal Masters winner in 2016 when he ended an eight year drought on the European Tour, is one of four Irish players at Vilamoura. Shane Lowry, another former winner, and Paul Dunne are also in the field while 22-year-old Robin Dawson makes his professional debut following his recent switch from the amateur ranks.

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