Category archive: Sergio Garcia
Somehow, an autographed golf ball probably wasn't going to cut it.
When Sergio Garcia's tee shot on the third hole at Firestone Country Club struck a fan Sunday afternoon, the collision knocked the diamond from her engagement ring and into the ankle-high rough. As fans tried to help her find the gem, Garcia still had a shot to play as the 54-hole leader at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The typical "payment" from a PGA Tour player after hitting a fan with a shot is usually an autographed golf glove or ball. This time, the Spaniard might have had to dig a little deeper.
To his credit, after hitting his shot, Garcia continued to look for the diamond, to no avail. But he clearly wasn't just going to forget about the incident.
"When we're done, can you get me her contact number please?" Garcia was heard saying on the television broadcast.
Fortunately for Garcia and probably his bank account, the diamond was found and returned to the owner a short while later.
In terms of the golf tournament, Garcia had come to the hole with his 3-shot lead trimmed to 1 after playing partner Rory McIlroy birdied the first two holes in the final round. After the incident, Garcia missed the third green with his approach shot and failed to get up and down, making a bogey.
McIlroy made birdie and became the outright leader at 14 under while Garcia dropped to a shot behind.
Each week of the season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.
This week's tournament: Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
Horse for the Course
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Sergio Garcia. Other than his W/D from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Sergio has yet to finish outside the top 17 in the five events he's played all four rounds. Bet you didn't know he's ranked 17th in all-time money won at this event.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Rory McIlroy. Famous but not yet a global superstar, McIlroy claimed his first PGA Tour title here in 2010 with a final-round 62. Last year, he lost in a playoff at Quail Hollow to Rickie Fowler.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Webb Simpson. The reigning U.S. Open champion lives at Quail Hollow and has plenty of home-course knowledge. He was the 54-hole leader a year ago before fading on Sunday.
Michael Collins: Nicolas Colsaerts. This is going to be an eye-opening experience for the Belgian first-timer, but in a good way. He's going to average better than 65 percent of his greens in regulation and then easily get a top-10.
Farrell Evans: Lucas Glover. Injuries and a divorce have been distractions for Glover since he won the 2009 U.S. Open, but perhaps he's rounding into good form after a tie for fourth last week in New Orleans.
Bob Harig: D.A. Points. He didn't win in New Orleans, but came close again, following up on his victory from the previous week in Houston. After a terrible start to the year, Points has a victory and a runner-up finish. He also lost at Quail Hollow in a playoff to Rickie Fowler a year ago.
Michael Collins: Rory Sabbatini. Fifty percent of cuts made, one top-10 (T-9) and four finishes outside the top 25. And you thought Tiger was the only one impacted by a messy divorce? So, at this course, he's either going to finish third or miss the cut.
Farrell Evans: John Peterson. The 24-year-old Web.com tour player got into the Wells Fargo field because of his tie for eighth in New Orleans. Don't be surprised to see him do well this week. He had a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open last year after qualifying through sectionals.
Bob Harig: Phil Mickelson. Lefty loves the tournament, and has six top-10 finishes in nine appearances, but no victories. Still, it is impossible to know how he will perform after such a poor performance at the Masters and a subsequent two-week break.
Michael Collins: Kevin Streelman. This will be win No. 2 for the Wheaton, Ill., native who grew up playing courses that didn't always have pristine greens. He'll have the patience that will be needed on the stressed-out greens of Quail Hollow's back nine to win.
Farrell Evans: Lee Westwood. The 40-year-old Englishman has had top-10s in his past two starts on the PGA Tour, including a tie for eighth in the Masters, his ninth top-10 in his past 17 major championships. Last year, he had a tie for fifth at Wells Fargo.
Bob Harig: McIlroy. It is somewhat amazing how quiet things have gotten for the No. 2-ranked player in the world. Perhaps that is a good thing. He did win at Quail Hollow three years ago, and lost in a playoff last year.