Golf-Re-energised Garcia chasing world number one spot

Reuters

Tue, 19 Oct 19:49:00 2010

Sergio Garcia, refreshed and bursting with energy after a self-imposed absence of more than two months, is targeting golf's world number one ranking.

"I made the decision to stop as I had lost my motivation and felt drained," the 30-year-old Spaniard told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday ahead of this week's Castello Masters.

"Now I feel full of energy and actually enjoy practising. I have set myself new goals and look forward to performing again at the top level," added Garcia.

"I am playing this week to win the Castello again ... then I want to return gradually to where I should be and perform to my full potential and that is world number one."

Garcia showed how reinvigorated he was when he featured on the wing for his local soccer team against a players and caddies side at the Club de Campo complex on Tuesday.

Among the opposition was former Italy winger and coach Roberto Donadoni along with Spanish golfers Pablo Larrazabal, Alejandro Canizares, Carlos Rodiles and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

"I have been doing different things these last two months, other sports and relaxing with my friends and family," said Garcia.

"I now have clear goals. I needed the break as I had lost the desire to play and practising had become an obligation."

Garcia, back in competition for the first time since he missed the cut at the U.S. PGA Championship in August, has been in the golfing doldrums for a long time but is hoping to win the Castello Masters for the second time in three years.

EMOTIONAL MOMENT

"I needed to miss the game a little bit but I found I've missed it a lot and that's why I am back," said the world number 68.

"The first Castello Masters (in 2008) was a very emotional moment for me. Firstly Seve (Ballesteros) had just been diagnosed (with a brain tumour) and secondly we had been working for a long time to host a European Tour event at my home club.

"Thirdly I won in front of my family and friends and the people of Castellon. It was a perfect and very special week."

Garcia was one of skipper Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains when Europe won the Ryder Cup two weeks ago.

"I said to Monty if he needed my assistance with the team if I was not chosen (as a player) then I was available," said the Spaniard.

"I said to him, 'golf and the Ryder Cup are greater than us' and Monty agreed. I enjoyed the Ryder Cup and it was great to be on the winning team."

However, the five-times Ryder Cup player said he had to get through some awkward moments early in the week at Celtic Manor in Wales.

"I am not going to lie to you, the first two or three days were very hard," Garcia explained. "As the week went on it got a little easier for me.

"But early on it was tough to walk on to the practice range to see so many friends and so many of my partners I have played with in the Ryder Cup.

"I felt like I helped win back the Ryder Cup and all those colleagues and friends were great in thanking me for what I did that week."

 

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