Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time for Garcia to Make Major Mark

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time for Garcia to Make Major Mark

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Many people will agree with Mark James and believe it's time Sergio Garcia won a Major. And the 24-year-old Spaniard is not about to argue with his Ryder Cup captain and where better to break his duck than with the Open Championship at Troon this week.

Garcia has taken a three-week break and while he feels he is refreshed, he reckons his game is slightly rusty. "I feel like I still have to get a couple of things straight and I feel like my rhythm is a bit out," he said. "But I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to it."

Twice a winner on the US Tour this year, Garcia is not about to put himself under any pressure and reckons the big breakthrough will eventually come along.

He said: "If I play half decent for the next 10 years I should have 40 chances of winning a major. And I just have to keep putting myself in that position."

It's easy to forget that Garcia is only 24 and with nine victories to his name he is one of the world's leading players, but he knows there is a difference between being a winner on tour and winning a major.

"They are probably the toughest tournaments to win because of different things," he added. "Mainly the fields are just stronger and the courses are tougher," he said.

"It tests you not only in your game but in your mind. I feel like I'm good enough to do it. I've just got to keep being aggressive and being positive. I think if I do that I'll be fine."

I'm sticking with my tip Darren Clarke, but Garcia is sure to be in the mix come Sunday and defending champion Ben Curtis is determined to do the same.

"I've won this before and I feel like I can do it again," he said. He admits he has not played well since his victory at Sandwich, but added: "I hit the ball extremely well at Shinnecock in the US Open and felt I could have made a run at it. I feel really comfortable on links golf and if I can get off to a good start and I'm playing solid, who knows!"

Andrew Sutton, the caddie who got the plum job of carrying for the rank outsider who became champion last year, is on the bag again at Troon. …

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