Olazabal: Garcia a cert for Ryder return

Tue, 18 Oct 21:10:00 2011

Former world number two Sergio Garcia may have missed last year's Ryder Cup but he is certain to return for the 2012 edition of the biennial team event, according to European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

Sergio Garcia - The Open at Sandwich 2011 - 0

Garcia failed to qualify as a player for last October's victory over the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales and had to make do with a vice-captaincy role under skipper Colin Montgomerie.

"I am sure Sergio will be in the Ryder Cup, he's got a special charisma and a solid game," Olazabal told reporters ahead of this week's Castello Masters in Valencia.

"His best motivation is to know what it feels like to be in the Ryder Cup without playing."

Garcia has plunged to 49th in the world but there have been signs of a return to form this season including top-10 finishes at the British Open and U.S. Open.

"It's been a very positive year. There is still room for improvement but things are much better," said the 31-year-old Spaniard who will be playing at his home club in Castellon this week.

"I'm feeling much more confident about my game now. What I'm feeling right now is very different to what I was feeling before.

"Last year I was here physically but not mentally. I tried hard but my mind wasn't where it needed to be," added Garcia who took a while to recover after his relationship with Greg Norman's daughter Morgan ended in March 2009.

Garcia is determined to return for his sixth Ryder Cup appearance in Illinois next year.

"The Ryder Cup is one of my goals," he said. "I want to make it.

"Everyone knows how special it is to me. As Jose Maria said, I know what it is like to be there without playing and I don't want to repeat the experience.

"Unless I go as captain I won't go back to the Ryder Cup if I'm not playing," said Garcia.

The Spaniard won the Castello Masters in 2008 and this week will be up against the likes of new Portugal Masters champion Tom Lewis, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero, fellow countryman Olazabal, Briton Montgomerie and twice major winner John Daly.

The first round is on Thursday.

Reuters

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