Confidence sky-high for in-form Garcia at Valhalla

Wed Aug 6, 2014 7:19pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOUISVILLE Kentucky (Reuters) - Long labeled as one of the best players in the modern game who has yet to win a major title, Sergio Garcia is oozing confidence as he heads into this week's PGA Championship after a sizzling run of form.

The 34-year-old Spaniard has recorded four top-three finishes in his last five PGA Tour starts, including runner-up spots in his last three, and has great expectations for the final major of the season.

"It's been a good year," world number three Garcia told reporters at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday as he wound up his preparations for Thursday's opening round. "A lot of high finishes, some really good chances of winning tournaments.

"I obviously feel quite good. I'm excited about it. It will be nice to play well again this week."

Asked if this was the most confident he had ever been heading into a major championship, Garcia replied: "Yeah, possibly.

"Obviously 2008 was a big year for me, kind of similar to this year with a lot of good playing and winning the Players that year."

The PGA Tour's flagship Players Championship is widely regarded as the unofficial "fifth major" and Garcia clinched the title six years ago in a playoff with American Paul Goydos for the biggest win of his career.

His golf this season has been hugely impressive, though he has triumphed only once, at the European Tour's Qatar Masters in January, despite several close calls along the way.   Continued...

Sergio Garcia of Spain hits off the 11th tee during a practice round at the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky August 6, 2014.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder