Garcia puts sport in perspective amid coronavirus concerns

Bernie McGuire
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Garcia puts sport in perspective amid coronavirus concerns

Sergio Garcia (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

It’s not that often you see former Masters champion Sergio Garcia almost in tears.

The golf world has been more used to seeing an unsightly side of the Spaniard as evident earlier last year when Garcia was disqualified for damaging the greens in the inaugural Saudi Invitational.

There had been also far too many earlier ‘temper tantrums’ involving Garcia including moments like after shaking hands with Scot and now fellow Irish Open winner Russell Knox before showing his displeasure in bogeying the closing three holes by planting his right foot into the side of the Valspar Championship scorer’s cabin.

I only mention the Valspar Championship as the Tampa tournament was due to take place this week but is now among eight events either postponed or cancelled by the PGA Tour.

But on this occasion as Garcia welled-up in speaking of his concern just weeks away from the birth of he and wife, Angela’s second child (Confirmed as a boy), Garcia showed a much different side.

Nineteen years ago, the Spaniard defeated Retief Goosen in a play-off to capture the Lancombe Trophy, the first golf tournament to be staged since the events on 9/11, with the Versailles event’s promotional poster heavily featuring Tiger Woods as the visiting star attraction.

The events in the US three weeks earlier meant Woods was going nowhere and not only did he not travel to France but the 2001 Ryder Cup scheduled for the following week didn’t happen either.

“We have not lived anything like what the world is currently experiencing,” said Garcia.

“I remember the events of 9/11 and how the disaster shocked the world, and how it immediately affected the golf world with the Ryder Cup being postponed a year, and while thousands tragically lost their lives in 9/11, this coronavirus is widespread with people dying in almost every country.

“Paramount is taking care of yourself and those close to you but there is a lot of things to figure out.

“Angela is due in three to four weeks and we’ll be back in Austin but we don’t know what we are going to do.

“It’s why also, it doesn’t matter when the Masters is held. It just doesn’t matter. Everyone has got to get their heads around this global crisis as there is people dying left-and-right.

“I would love to go back and visit my own family in Spain and know they are safe given Spain has been hit very hard by the virus, and if I do go back to Spain I don’t know when or if I can travel back here to America.

“My wife and daughter are here in the States but the family on my side are in Spain, so there is just so many question marks and the next few months we are going to see where things are headed.

“Hopefully, fears for people contracting the virus will ease because if things get worse, who knows what will happen.”

 

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