Gar­cia has no re­grets with race on last lap

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - SPORTS -

SER­GIO Gar­cia (right) in­sists he has no re­grets at leav­ing him­self just a two per cent chance ofwin­ning the Race to Dubai for the first time as he gets to grips with a sur­pris­ing change of equip­ment.

Gar­cia can fin­ish the sea­son as Euro­pean No 1 by claim­ing a fourth win of the cam­paign in the DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship — but only if leader Tommy Fleet­wood is out­side the top 12 and Justin Rose fourth or worse.

The Masters cham­pion has not played since vic­tory in the An­dalu­cia Valder­rama Masters, an event hosted by his own foun­da­tion, and, there­fore, missed three lu­cra­tive Rolex Se­ries events.

And given that he is play­ing with new equip­ment on a Jumeirah Golf Es­tates course which is not one of his favourites, that two per cent chance of top­ping the money list could even be some­what op­ti­mistic.

“Win­ning the Race to Dubai would be great but I’m not go­ing to change my whole life for it,” the 37-year-old said of his re­fusal to change his sched­ule. “I’m happy fin­ish­ing sec­ond, third, fourth or wher­ever I fin­ish at the end of the week.

“I don’t even know the per­mu­ta­tions. It doesn’t re­ally bother me. What I’m go­ing to do is go out there and try to do the same as every other week, which is play the best I can and give my­self the best op­tion of win­ning this week.

“I can’t con­trol what other peo­ple do. Ob­vi­ously both Tommy and Justin are play­ing re­ally well so I’m not ex­pect­ing them to fin­ish 40th or 50th.

“To be to­tally hon­est, I see a two per cent chance of me win­ning the Race to Dubai. But I’m fine with it, I can live with it. It has been a great year and that’s not go­ing to change.”

What is chang­ing is Gar­cia’s equip­ment af­ter his 15-year as­so­ci­a­tion with Tay­lor­Made came to an end, with the Spa­niard sug­gest­ing lu­cra­tive deals given to other play­ers was a key fac­tor.

Par­ent com­pany Adi­das sold Tay­lor­Made in May, the same month in which Rory McIl­roy signed a 10-year, multi-mil­lion pound Tay­lor­Made con­tract. Tiger Woods joined the com­pany in Jan­uary.

“I guess all com­pa­nies change and the pol­i­tics with Tay­lor­Made have changed af­ter leav­ing Adi­das,” added Gar­cia, who won his first Ma­jor ti­tle at Au­gusta Na­tional in April. “We couldn’t come to an agree­ment.

“I un­der­stand that it’s also dif­fi­cult when you have so many top play­ers, to keep all of them. Un­for­tu­nately we were in that pack­age.”

Gar­cia will use Call­away equip­ment for the first time in competition this week and, al­though no deal has been signed, a for­mal agree­ment looks set to fol­low.

“I would say the most dif­fi­cult thing to fit into your game would be the golf ball, when you have played with one for quite a while,” Gar­cia added.

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