“That was for Seve!”
These were the first words uttered by Sergio Garcia upon annihilating the field to win Spain’s Castello Masters by 11 strokes, the joint-third largest victory in European Tour history.
Following the win, played on Sergio’s home course Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, Sergio sent a kiss to the sky, dedicating his first win in almost three years to his friend and mentor, the late Seve Ballesteros, who died of brain cancer in May.
Garcia produced a golfing exhibition over the four days, firing off rounds of 67, 63, 64 and a closing 63 to shoot an amazing 27 under par. Garcia’s 11-shot victory has only been bettered by Tiger Woods’ 15 stroke victory at the 2000 U.S. Open and Ernie Els’ 13 stroke win at the 2005 BMW Asian Open. The 27-under total is the second best ever on the European Tour, trailing only the 29-under par shot by Ernie Els at the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic. Unfortunately for Sergio, his victory won’t enter the official record books, as players have ‘lifted and placed’ all week.
The 31-year-old Garcia started the day 8 strokes ahead of the field and never gave the rest of the field a sniff, shooting the lowest score on the European Tour this year. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano finished a distant second at 16-under, a shot ahead of joint third-place-getters Alexander Noren and Richie Ramsay.
Following 2010’s year-long hiatus from golf, Garcia’s play looked spectacular, and he played in a style reminiscent of the form that we saw early in his career, peaking in 2008 which netted him 7 PGA tour victories, 8 European Tour Victories and gained him 2nd place in world golf ranking. The victory has placed Garcia back inside the top 35 world rankings. With top-12 finishes in the last three majors, Garcia had been building steadily to this triumph.
Garcia took three weeks off prior to the tournament after playing in the USA for several months.
“It was like mother’s milk to me – obviously they (the three weeks) worked”, said Garcia.
Among the Aussies in the field, Marcus Fraser finished a solid T8, which included a blistering 64 in round 2. Brett Rumford and Scott Strange both finished T11, with 9-under-par totals.
|AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND RESULTS|