Sergio Garcia & # 39; s hunting for the perfect Caddy

Posted by on April 11, 2019  /   Posted in golf reviews

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The first time Sergio Garcia & # 39; s elder brother, Victor, cadd him for the Masters, Garcia handed him his putter to the ninth hole in Wednesday's paradise. 3 match and watched him a 25 foot birdie attempt. More than a decade later, Victor is once again in the ropes of Augusta National with his brother, but this time he will guard Garcia through the 72-hole tournament, which starts on Thursday.

For nearly twenty years, Garcia's caddy was Glen Murray, who provided the temperamental Garcia with a ballast of stability and stability. Don't mind yardages and club selection; no course has Garcia ever tested, more than his own passionate, perfectionist and occasionally tortured self.

So when Garcia, 39, decided to break up with Murray last spring because of a need for independence when he collaborated with one of the Sustainable caddy player, his challenge was to find someone whose strength made him more then was reading greens.

The split with Murray took place a month after he missed the cut in his Masters title defense. He said he made the move because he felt he had come to rely on Murray & # 39; s advice too much.

"I had a good friend who had been caddying for me for 17 years, but now I feel that this is what I need," Garcia said, adding: & # 39; take ownership of my decisions. It helps me to better deal with my mistakes. "

After the split, Garcia considered some intriguing candidates, including one he has been spending a lot of time with – his wife, Angela.

She was a great amateur player who ended her collegiate career with Texas. She knows what it takes to perform in the competition's cauldron and her state of rest is cheerful, both ideal qualities for a caddy.

"I think we would be a great team, I have no doubt, because when we play golf, we have a lot of fun," Angela Garcia recently said.

Over the years, a few women have been caddied in PGA Touring Events for their husbands, notably Justine Reed and Nicki Stricker. The former world number 1 Lee Westwood won his first European Tour title in four years with his girlfriend Helen Storey in his bag last fall. She is now his full time caddy.

"We talked about it briefly," Garcia said, "but no, I don't want her to go through that."

Shortly before last year's Masters, the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Azalea. "In the end we decided that I am a mother in the first place," said Angela Garcia.

It was probably the best, she added. After all, there are stressful moments in golf tournaments, no matter how good the Garcias are to work through their differences. "If he did something silly and I tried to help him, I wouldn't know how it would go," she said.

While Garcia was exploring his options, his wife Mardy Fish, the retired tennis player who advanced as high as number 7 in the world men's singles rankings, won six career ATP titles

] Garcia & # 39; s friendship with Fish, an Olympic silver medal, dates back more than a decade. Fish is an avid fan of golf, while Garcia is a tennis fan and has linked their love for the sport of the other over the years. They have seen each other through adversity. Vis was there for Garcia after he broke up with tennis star Martina Hingis, and Garcia was with Fish at the 2012 United States Open when he withdrew just a few minutes before a fourth round match against Roger Federer because of a racing heart. Fish was later diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

A former professional athlete who caddying for a big winner is not without precedent; the former N.H.L. forward Dan Quinn has had several caddying stints with his good friend Ernie Els.

Garcia & # 39; s wife called Fish to gauge his interest in caddying. Fish was intrigued by the idea. He was far enough away from his professional playing days that he felt he would like to fade into the background and do the non-glamorous work to help Garcia shine. He had collaborated with the U.S.T.A. development team for players in Los Angeles, where he learned very quickly, he said, "It's not about you anymore." He was familiar with that.

Speaking recently by telephone, Fish added: "Angela and Sergio knew that I understood what he was mentally going through, and I know where to put the bag and how to rake the bunker."

But the idea blew by before Fish got the chance to talk to Garcia. Fish wasn't keen on the prospect of long journeys down the road, away from his wife, Stacey, and their two young children, although he said he would like to carry Garcia's bag for a year at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles .

In January, Fish accepted the leader of the American Davis Cup team. And Garcia decided to hire the services of his brother, who played college golf at Francis Marion University, a few hours' drive from Augusta National.

During the practice rounds, Garcia & # 39; s brother stared at the dogwoods and the towering pines. , examined the azaleas in all their splendor and basked in the tranquility of the hidden thirteenth tee.

"He is enthusiastic about caddying here," Garcia said Wednesday. "But it's not the holidays."

With his brother by his side, Garcia enjoyed a sparkling piece with seven consecutive top 10 finishes between the end of September and the end of January, including one second, a third and a victory in the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in their native Spain. .

Then came the Saudi International the first week of February, where Garcia was disqualified for "serious misconduct" after damaging a few greens during his third round. Garcia later apologized for his behavior, which he said stemmed from a personal situation that he did not treat well.

On the day Garcia was disqualified, Fish spoke to Garcia's wife. "We talked for a while about how to deal with it," said Fish. "I think she relied on what I had to say because I experienced it."

Fish said he had told Garcia's wife that the other members of his team had to address his behavior. When Garcia called, he said, her only question should be, "What time can I pick you up at the airport?"

"Sergio & # 39; s had the best support of his life," Fish added, "and that is why he has played so well."

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