Nothing in the life of Sergio Garcia has ever seemed normal. He was a teen sensation in a sport that, at the time, saw few teen sensations. Free of facial hair, Garcia was dubbed the " next big thing" because, frankly, there wasn't anyone else around and the kid had a golf swing that produced some of the most solid, and beautiful, golf shots anyone had ever seen.
And Sergio started his career in the United States by nearly stopping Tiger Woods' career as it was getting started. Say what you want about the run Tiger had, but what if Garcia had taken Tiger down at Medinah in 1999, when he hit one of the most unbelievable golf shots (honestly, is there another word you'd use to describe this shot?) in the history of the game and won golf fans over by the millions.
But his career never became what most thought it would. Sergio started to hate the limelight and the press. He became the enemy to Americans at the Ryder Cup because he was both vocal and really, really damn good at match play. He spit in a cup and barely apologized for it. He had tantrum after tantrum on the golf course when things weren't going his way.
And Garcia could never win the big event. So on Monday, it seemed rather appropriate that Garcia would end his PGA Tour winless drought by taking out an event that concluded abnormally. Rain pushed the finish to Monday, Garcia showed what made him so great by hitting lasers with his irons on greens that were the perfect amount of soft for Sergio's ball flight, and he did it all with a club caddie that he picked up before the week started (he said after his win that he doesn't even plan to bring him to the Barclays, opting to snag another local caddie when he gets to Bethpage Black).
But the thing is, Garcia is exactly what the game needs right now. He's tough to like at times, even admitting earlier this season that he didn't even think he was good enough to win a major championship, but he's a figure that pushes golf to the front of the sports page. Unlike the robotics of Tiger Woods and the sheepish mannerisms of Phil Mickelson, Garcia either gets you fired up or rubs you the wrong way and him playing himself onto the European Ryder Cup team just makes that event all the more spectacular.
Personally, I've always loved seeing Sergio play good golf. For all the putting woes he's endured over his career, there are few people that I'd rather watch hit a golf ball. It's just … beautiful. The long, driving trajectory of that lagged golf swing is something that a golf instructor couldn't teach, and when he's over a golf ball, swinging with confidence, his game is as majestic as anyone on tour.
The first time Garcia went to Bethpage Black, it was at the height of his ridicule. Now, he shows up as one of the favorites to win, and he's doing it with a golf game that looks exactly what caught our attention in the first place.