Born: January 9, 1980
Height: 5 ft 10 in
Turned Pro: 1999
Sponsors: Adidas, Taylor Made
Sergio Garcia burst on the scene as a 19 year-old at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medina, where he gave eventual champion Tiger Woods all he could ask for on his way to a second-place finish.
While no one knew it at the time, it would be just the first in a long string of near misses at golf’s four Major championships.
Garcia’s father, Victor, was a club pro who taught three-year old Sergio the basics of the golf swing. Garcia won the European Amateur in 1995 at the age of 15. At 16, Garcia became the youngest player to ever make a cut in a European Tour event. At 18, he made the semi-finals of the U.S. Amateur.
Garcia turned pro in 1999 and won his first European Tour title in July at the Irish Open. After his runner-up finish at the PGA, Garcia ended the year by becoming the youngest person to play in the Ryder Cup.
Garcia has played on both the European Tour and PGA Tour during his career. And, the wins came early and often. Through the end of July 2015, Garcia has won 11 European Tour titles and 8 PGA titles including prestigious tournaments such as the Byron Nelson Classic and the Tournament Players Championship.
Still, Garcia’s critics will point to his near misses at the Majors. Chief among these setbacks was the 2007 Open Championship. Garcia led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds and blew a three-shot lead as play began on the final day. He caught the edge on an 8-foot putt on the 72nd hole before losing to Padraig Harington in a four hole playoff. Garcia lost again to Harrington at the 2008 PGA, again losing a lead on Sunday’s back nine.
Like his European teammate Colin Montgomerie, Garcia has been an incredibly consistent and winning performer on the European Ryder Cup team. Garcia has played on 7 Ryder Cup squads and has compiled an 18-9-5 record, meaning that Garcia has secured points for the European Team in 23 of his 32 matches.