After 74 stabs at major championships that have spanned over a decade, Sergio Garcia has finally come out on top. This past Sunday evening, Garcia clenched the title that every professional golfer dreams of — champion of The Masters. He gracefully slipped on his green jacket, smiling from ear to ear while his fiancee, mother, and father gleamed with pride and joy. It was a picture perfect day at August National.
But the quite large “elephant in the room” still remained in the Clubhouse even after the last Arnold Palmer and pimento cheese sandwich were sold: how in the world did Serg finally pull it off?
Garcia’s career has been plagued by not one but four second place finishes, the most notable of which occurred at the 2007 Open Championship when he lost by a narrow margin to Padraig Harrington. His position as a top professional golfer made it nearly impossible for him to not win a major championship. But somehow Serg has managed to remain a runner-up for the majority of his career, until last Sunday, of course.
A glimpse into how Garcia was able to win The Masters came after the tournament was said and done, specifically in a press conference following the closing ceremony.
Garcia recounted about his position at the par-five, 13th hole in his final round on Sunday. He bogeyed both the 10th and 11th holes, and his drive off the tee nestled the ball under a bush, leaving it virtually unplayable. Sounds like a less-than-appealing situation, right?
Garcia spoke of the series of events as if they were a walk in the park:
“But I was like, well, if that’s what is supposed to happen, let it happen. Let’s try to make a great five here and see if we can put in a hell of a finish to have a chance. And if not, we’ll shake Justin’s hand and congratulate him for winning.”
This side of Serg is something that the golf world has never seen. He was positive, calm, and composed. He was determined to win yet had peace of mind knowing that the outcome was still up in the air (literally). He was seemingly stress-free.
This leaves us asking yet another question: where in the world did this new state of mind come from?
My thoughts are that his fiancee, former Longhorn Angela Akins, is at the root of his change in attitude.
Not enough can be said about the affect significant others have on a person, particularly when it comes to one’s mental state. They alter your entire world and allow you to see things from a fresh, new perspective. It is my belief that Ms. Akins had said affect on Sergio Garcia, opening his eyes to the possibilities that lie beyond the word “win.”
Whatever the cause of Serg’s newfound peace and serenity, I hope it continues so that he may go beyond what many critics are saying he will become — a one hit wonder.