European Tour

Garcia eyes positive week in Portugal

2018-09-19 19:57
Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Sergio Garcia will make his Portugal Masters debut this week at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course as he gears up for an event in which he has rather more experience.

The Spaniard is preparing to make his ninth appearance in the Ryder Cup after being selected as one of Thomas Bjørn's four Captain's Picks, but first of all the 2017 Masters Tournament champion is looking forward to a week of competitive action in the golfing mecca of Vilamoura.

The 12-time European Tour winner's most recent experience on this course came back in 2005 when he represented Spain alongside Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the WGC-World Cup, and he's expecting an entirely different challenge this time around.

"Since the last time I played here in 2005 there have been a lot of changes. The fairways look much narrower than they were then, the rough is much thicker, so you have to drive the ball well here. If you do that then it's a course that's going to give you some chances of scoring, but you have to be very precise off the tee, so that's going to be important," said Garcia.

"Obviously getting a win here would be amazing. You can't beat confidence. That would be nice but more than anything I just want to get some rhythm, get some competition juices flowing, that's one of the main reasons that I wanted to come here. It's a nice tournament and I want to do the best I can, but obviously I'm thinking a little bit about next week. You can't help it.

"I'm excited about it. Everyone knows how much I love The Ryder Cup, and that hasn't changed, so I'm really excited about it. I'm very thankful to Thomas and the vice captains for picking me and I'm just going to try to help the team as much as possible," said Garcia.

He is joined in the field by Ryder Cup team-mate Thorbjørn Olesen who is also looking forward to getting back into competitive action after a few weeks of rest.

The Dane sealed his maiden appearance in the biennial contest after putting together an impressive run of form that has included six top 20 finishes since capturing his fifth European Tour title at the Italian Open in June.

He's looking forward to a week in a place that he enjoys so much, he visited for a training camp earlier in the year.

The field for the 12th Portugal Masters includes a further four Major winners in Argentinian Angel Cabrera, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, South African Charl Schwartzel and Danny Willett of England.

Meanwhile it will be a family affair for home favourite Ricardo Gouveia, who will be joined by his dad Tomas on caddie duties.

Read more on:    european tour  |  sergio garcia  |  golf


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