Former Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion Sergio Garcia turned 40 two weeks ago but the Spaniard still believes he can mix it with the future stars of the game as former Ryder Cup teammate, Lee Westwood, proved with his win at last weeks’ Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“Well, first of all, we believe in ourselves,” said the 2017 Masters champion when asked about his and Westwood’s longevity on Tour. “We believe that we’re good enough. I feel like we show it pretty much week-in, week-out. It gets tougher every year because there’s a lot of good youngsters coming out both in Europe and on the PGA Tour. But you know, we can still go out there and perform well. We are competitors and we love to compete and challenge ourselves, and that’s what we try to do.”
Garcia is currently on the longest ongoing streak (20.5 yrs) inside Top 100 in the world with Phil Mickelson leading the way on 26.5 years. Garcia’s streak began with a win at the 1999 Murphy’s Irish Open, which saw him jump from 149th to 78th, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“It’s really nice to be able to make a little bit of history here and there,” said Garcia. “It’s not the ultimate goal, but that’s kind of what we work for because that shows you the ability that we have, and what we can achieve. The goal is to keep adding on to that, keep playing well and keep myself on that streak obviously.
“I would love to have a really good start to the year and get my World Ranking back to at least Top-20 in the world, which is a bit more comfortable than where I am now. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that fairly soon.”
A second triumph at the Middle East’s oldest tournament would certainly see Garcia climb up from his current position of 42nd in the OWGR and what better place to get his first win of the season than over the Majlis course.
“The Majlis is a golf course that I enjoy because targets are small, fairways are narrow and the greens are fairly small on average,” said Garcia. “If your game is on, you feel like you’re giving yourself a lot of birdie chances every time. It’s not like you have a lot of 50-60-footers like on some of the courses you might do. The course is usually is in great shape, just like this year so we are all set for a good championship.”