Rónán MacNamara in Oman.
Sergio García admits having three months off after surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee has allowed him to return to competitive golf fitter, healthier and hungry.
The Spaniard made his return to competitive action at last week’s Saudi International after taking the winter off to recover from surgery. Garcia feels the break between the 2022 LIV Golf season and the start of the Asian Tour’s International Series was beneficial for his golf game and his body, and he admits to working extremely hard to get back to full fitness.
“I worked my butt off, the second day after surgery I was doing rehab,” said Garcia.
“I played golf sixteen days after surgery which is pretty good. For me, it was the first time ever I had two or three months off since my amateur days but it was really nice to be able to take care of my knee and fixate on rehab. It gives you time to work on the body and get fitter and healthier and take time off from the game and then start practicing again so it’s something we never had before.
“After a couple of months you start jumping up the walls and you are just dying to get going again so it’s a funny situation. I was very happy to be at home, work on the body and practice and of course spend time with family, it was great.”
The 2017 Masters champion has six Asian Tour titles to his name during a trophy-laden career and says he has not lost his motivation to compete and win tournaments despite no longer plying his trade on the PGA or DP World Tours.
“That doesn’t change, if we didn’t have the desire to win and the desire to compete we wouldn’t be here. Obviously we still have that fire within ourselves and we love the challenges and stuff. We are out there grinding and I can guarantee you that if I hit a bad shot I am not happy. It’s not like it doesn’t matter.
“Winning is always a great feeling, it’s not easy that’s why it’s such a great feeling and it’s one of the reasons why we practice so hard.”
While LIV players are currently suspended from the PGA Tour, Garcia was still a keen spectator from the other side of the television screen as he watched Real Madrid legend and close friend Gareth Bale tee it up in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week.
Garcia, a life long Madrista, was impressed by what he saw from the five-time Champions League winner.
“He’s a friend of mine. He loves golf and he is a good golfer as everyone saw last week at Pebble Beach. Any chance we get to improve the game and make it more popular, then it’s welcome, we need that.
“When you have a big star like Gareth Bale and Michael Jordan come and play the game it is very welcome because it helps our game overall. We are always super excited about that, and it was fun to watch him play a little bit. I know he has wanted to do it for a while but he couldn’t because he was playing soccer. I’m sure he had a great time.”
Garcia tees off in the International Series Oman alongside Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and Thai star Jazz Janewattanond at 07.50 local time.
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