Singapore - Sergio Garcia enjoyed a hard-earned winter break
after a hectic 2016 and the Spaniard is now fit, fresh and raring to go when he
opens his campaign at the Singapore Open this week in a region where he has
enjoyed plenty of success.
Garcia has won five events in as many countries on the Asian
Tour and Singapore could become a sixth should he navigate the demanding Serapong
Course better than a field of rivals that includes three-times tournament
winner Adam Scott and Ernie Els.
"I've always felt comfortable coming to Asia, I've done
very well here in the tournaments I have played," the world number 15 told
reporters at Sentosa Golf Club on Tuesday.
"It's always exciting to come here, not only for us but
also for Asian fans, they don't get to see us that often so you always feel
like there's a lot of good energy around so it makes for exciting times."
Garcia regarded 2016 as one of his most productive years as
a golfer, breaking a four-year winless drought on the PGA Tour with his second
Byron Nelson triumph in Texas last May before playing in the Olympics and for
Europe in the Ryder Cup.
This year, his playing schedule is far less frenetic but the
37-year-old is refusing to set specific targets other than to play well and try
to put himself in the mix for victories.
"I've had a nice little practice from the New Year
onwards and am excited about starting the season here," he added.
"It's definitely much warmer than Europe and I hope I start well this
week, get some good vibrations for the year and get it going.
"The scheduling is a little easier but the goals remain
the same: keep getting better and keep the consistency where we have had it
over the last few years. The British Open is obviously my favourite tournament
but that doesn't mean I won't try as hard in other events."
Garcia turned professional in 1999 and bore witness to the
Tiger Woods era of domination, and while his American rival has battled
crippling injuries and a complete loss of form in recent years, the Spaniard is
curious to see how his former sparring partner fares on his latest attempt at a
"I think it's a big question mark. I don't think even
he knows because of all the problems he has had physically over the last three
or four years," Garcia added of the 14-times major winner.
"He's hardly played any golf but he played the Hero
World Challenge in December and shot some good rounds as well as struggling a
little bit, like anyone would who hasn't played competition golf for that long.
"So, we'll see. It's going to be interesting to see how
everything goes, how he reacts and how he feels on the golf course. We'll wait