Garcia looking to shed unwanted tag

Ryder Cup star Sergio Garcia is desperate to lose the unwanted tag of best player not to win a major.

Ryder Cup star Sergio Garcia is desperate to lose the unwanted tag of best player not to win a major.
The 29-year-old Saniard inherited the title from Phil Mickelson when the American broke his personal duck at the 2004 Masters.
Garcia has been a major runner-up three times, twice at the US PGA in 1999 and 2008 and in the Open two years ago.
Carnoustie in 2007 is the closest he has come to winning a major, with his putt to be crowned champion on the 72nd hole just missing and ultimately resulting on a one-stroke play-off defeat to Padraig Harrington.
The Spaniard has proved he can handle pressure at the highest level with some inspirational performances in five Ryder Cups but he is desperate to transfer that form to the individual arena.
He claims it does bother him being labelled the best player not to win a major and tried to deflect questions about it before eventually conceding it was something he wanted to put an end to.
“I guess you have to look at someone’s career and see how they’ve done in majors and everything,” he said on the eve of the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry.
“I’d love to get rid of it, yes.
“There are moments where you feel like you’ve maybe been a bit unlucky but I’ve just come up against some guys who have raised their game and played amazing on the last round or last four or five holes when they’ve needed to.
“I feel I’ve given it my hardest. The most important thing for me is obviously winning but at least I’m having the chance, being up there and giving myself an opportunity.
“I know they say second is the first loser but I’d rather be the first loser than the 39th loser.
“The only thing you can do is keep giving yourself chances and make sure that it happens.”
Garcia has, of course, won the unofficial fifth major, as the Americans like to call the Players Championship at Sawgrass, and that is something he has in common with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.
The Spaniard was replaced as champion by his Ryder Cup team-mate this year and the world number eight followed that up with a ninth-placed finish at last month’s US Open.
It was his third successive top-10 finish in a major – he was joint third at last year’s Open and tied fourth at the US PGA – and Stenson is feeling confident.
“Obviously I can bring a lot of good experiences from Sawgrass and I think what I did at the US Open in terms of battling and being patient will also help,” he said.
“These are definitely important things to have if you want to win big championships.
“If I can do the same and play a bit better I hope I can be up there and contending by Sunday.”
To do that he is likely to have to match world number one and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods but Stenson said the American, winner of three Claret Jugs, was not invincible.
“There were times when he was considered to be unbeatable and if enough people consider it that way it’s going to be harder to beat him,” he added.
“There have been times when he has been one or two up on the first tee but after a while the other players get over that and managed to win tournaments when he was in the field.
“He’s going to be one of the names to watch every time but he’s definitely beatable.”