Father-to-be Garcia eyes big finish to dream year
Sergio Garcia has announced he will become a father before next year’s Masters defence. And to celebrate, he intends to prevail in the race of the Spaniards to emulate Seve Ballesteros in winning the European Tour’s order of merit.
Garcia, 37, who finally won his first major at Augusta in April, married Angela Akins later the same month and yesterday revealed that she is due to give birth in March. Without doubt it has been the best year of his life.
“It’s been an incredible year,” Garcia said, before outlining how he planned to throw a bit more tinsel on it before he embarks on his off-season.
Ballesteros is the only Spanish player ever to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy and Jon Rahm, the 22-yearold, has signalled his ambition to beat Garcia to the honour.
However, the veteran is ready for the challenge, starting at the Italian Open in Milan today. “It’s a great field here and I’m very hopeful of achieving a good performance to try to catch Tommy [Fleetwood],” he said. “It would cap an amazing season for me to follow Seve and win the Race to Dubai.”
Garcia is just over a million points behind Englishman Fleetwood but with the Italian Open being upgraded to a $7 million (£5.3 million) Rolex Series event, he knows that the €990,000 (£887,000) first prize could go a long way to breaching the gap with five events to go.
Fleetwood, who became a father two weeks ago, is also playing in Monza, but so, too, is Rahm, who wants the ultimate prize to claim national bragging rights.
“It became a goal of mine after winning the Irish Open [In July],” said Rahm, who is only 30,000 points behind Garcia in third. “Before that, I wasn’t really anywhere in the Race to Dubai.
“I really became conscious of the fact that I could win it then, especially once I learned that nobody since Seve in Spain has won it. It is now a huge goal.”
In the hunt: Sergio Garcia hopes to close the gap in the Race to Dubai