Garcia’s Masters win has given Englishman renewed self-belief
By Michael McEwan
Luke Donald has revealed that watching his close friend Sergio Garcia finally win his first major championship has given him renewed belief that he, too, has what it takes to secure one of golf’s four biggest prizes.
Garcia, 37, finally shook off the ‘best player never to win a major’ tag when he won this year’s Masters on his 74th start in a major.
Donald, who has known the Spaniard since he was 12, was amongst the huge throng of people to congratulate Garcia after his win and subsequently admitted that watching him slip into the famous green jacket had hardened his own resolve that the best is yet to come for him.
“I still believe that I have the ability to win a major and win more tournaments,” said the 39-year-old from Hemel Hempstead. “I’m certainly not hanging up the clubs yet. I’m very committed to working hard on the game, and get past a little bit of a lull in my results the last couple of years.
“It’s certainly not been the golf that I wanted. But I’m working hard on it. And I still believe that I’m good enough. Anyone who can get to No.1 in the world for over a year I think has the ability to bounce back and hopefully I will.”
Describing his reaction to Garcia’s victory, Donald added: “I’ve grown up knowing him. He came to my wedding. I’m invited to his wedding. We’ve been very good friends. We’ve played many Ryder Cup matches together.
“Obviously, to carry around that ‘best player to have never won a major’ tag was tough for him. I think someone that had that much talent to not quite have got it done for so many years, and have so many good opportunities to get it done and not finish the job off, was tough for him at times.
“But he obviously is in a great place. He proved to himself that he could do it and showed great resilience on the Sunday. Even when he struggled a little bit early on the back nine, he came through with some amazing shots down the stretch and drove the ball amazingly well. Augusta is a tough place to drive it well, nowadays. It’s become a lot more narrow. He was hitting it far and straight. And to finish as strong as he did, I think he deserved to win. This was just meant to be his time.”