If it weren't for Tiger's fall from grace, not to mention the number one spot in the world rankings, the biggest story in golf might be the plight of Sergio Garcia. Undoubtedly one of the most talented players the game has seen in recent years, El Nino has gone from being the second ranked player in the world in '09 to currently sitting at 73rd, a spot that fails to qualify him for the upcoming U.S. Open at Congressional. If he misses the event it will break his current streak of 47 majors in-a-row, which began at the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999.
Garcia, who hasn't won a PGA Tour event in three years and failed to make the 2010 European Ryder Cup team, must make it into the top 50 in the world rankings by June 13th or be in the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list by May 23rd if he wants to avoid playing in a 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier. According to the Spaniard, slogging through one of the toughest tests in golf in an attempt to earn a spot at Congressional is unlikely.
"I don't think so," he said. "If I don't qualify [through the rankings], then I don't deserve to play."
In regard to the streak of majors played, Garcia doesn't seem overly concerned.
"I don't care about the streak," he said. "I don't care about records and things like that. I worry about enjoying it and doing what I love and doing the best I can. I'm not going to look back when I'm 55 and say I should have tried to play 100 million in a row instead of 99."
Another issue for Garcia is that he currently is not exempt for this year's British Open at Royal St. George's either. However he has indicated that he will play in a British Open qualifier on May 23rd in Texas.
Note: Sean O'Hair, who finished 12th at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, is also not exempt for Congressional - the USGA recently changed the exemption from top 15 to top 10 finishers from the previous year. Rory Sabbatini and Sean O'Hair apologize and move onWhile replacing his swing coach and caddie are surely stressful for Sean O'Hair, at least the tension between he and fiery Rory Sabbatini seems to be over. According to O'Hair, he and Sabbatini had a phone conversation shortly after their heated on-course argument at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans and straightened things out.
"He apologized and I apologized," O'Hair said. "Life goes on."
This was the second publicized incident in which Sabbatini's behavior has caused problems in 2011 - at the Northern Trust in L.A. he reportedly used profanity while addressing a young volunteer who was helping him look for a lost ball. O'Hair declined to say what the argument was about, but did mention that it was not about slow play. Darren Clarke eyes return to Ryder CupAfter putting an end to a three-year winless drought at The Iberdrola Open in Mallorca last weekend, Northern Irishman Darren Clarke is setting his sights on the next Ryder Cup.
"I feel there is a lot of golf left in me. I need to get the consistency back again. I would like to qualify for another Ryder Cup team and another win would take me back into the top 50. It was nice to win again but I want to be doing it more frequently."
Though Clarke has not played in a Ryder Cup since The K Club in '06 (which Europe won), his big win over up-and-coming Englishman Chris Wood apparently has him brimming with confidence.
"My swing is getting better and better. If I can get myself into contention to win, then great, and I can get up the world rankings again."
Here's a glimpse of DC's post-win press conference in Spain:
Tweet of the Day @PGA_JohnDaly: yes, please call my table "THE FORE EX'S" RT @micknwalsh: Hi getting wed July 2 golf theme wedding Naming a table after you Any chance of a quote on marriage First thing u think of?