Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Garcia 2018 season look ahead  (European Tour)
Garcia 2018 season look ahead (European Tour)

Sergio Garcia starts the new Race to Dubai season at the UBS Hong Kong Open looking for yet another high in what has been a brilliant 2017.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a remarkable year both on and off the golf course, winning the Masters Tournament for his first Major Championship to go with victories at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

A closing 65 at last week's DP World Tour Championship, Dubai actually put him within touching distance of topping the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex - a birdie rather than a bogey on the par five last would have put him in a play-off and victory would have seen him crowned Europe's Number One.

That would have been quite the cherry on a year which saw him marry girlfriend Angela - who is expecting the couple's first child in early 2018 - and he is now looking forward with optimism at the start of a new campaign.

"There's always things that you want to achieve and I think that 2017 has been a crazy year on and off the golf course, which is great," he said.

"Getting married and obviously having a baby coming and with the three victories and winning the Masters.

"But you start a new year and you kind of re-set. You want to keep improving. You don't want to get comfortable with what you've done. You want to make sure that you keep moving forward and keep putting yourself in position to win more tournaments and all those things.

"We have to get on it again. We have two tournaments left this actual year and hopefully we can finish and start the year in the same way that we did last season.

You want to keep improving. You don't want to get comfortable with what you've done - Sergio Garcia

"The golf course is great. The town is electric, it's a fun town. I'm hoping that we can keep that good momentum of play that we had all year and hopefully have a solid chance coming down this weekend."

While this is Garcia's first time at Hong Kong Golf Club, 2015 champion Justin Rose is making his fourth appearance in Fanling.

The Englishman came even closer to winning the Race to Dubai than his long-time Ryder Cup team-mate, and an eagle rather than a birdie on the last at Jumeirah Golf Estates would have seen him beat Tommy Fleetwood to the European crown.

The Olympic champion is eager to look forward now, though, and he knows the key to success on this layout.

"It takes patience, I think," he said. "I've played this golf course well and I haven't played it well at times, I think, when I've got a little bit impatient because this course tempts you to hit driver.

"It does offer you the opportunity to hit driver and take on a bit of risk to try and have a little wedge in your hand. It's a very strategic golf course.

"Excited to be here. It's nice to be here. It's nice to turn over a new leaf or a new page and start the 2018 season and lead the Race to Dubai after this week. One week too late but that would be nice.

"Great to have Tommy here, especially after his Race to Dubai win, clearly Sergio, myself. Good to see Sam (Brazel), defending champion, is always nice to have them back.

"It's always a strong week and a strong field."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ORMSBY, WadeAUS18-11
T2SURI, JulianUSA18-10
T2PETERSON, PaulUSA18-10
T2BJÖRK, AlexanderSWE18-10
T2CABRERA BELLO, RafaESP18-10
6FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-9

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