Sergio Garcia plays in the Pro-Am before the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Getty Images)
After narrowly missing out on an 11th European Tour title last week in Qatar, the in-form Sergio Garcia is focussed on sustaining his positive mentality this week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Garcia, who has returned to the Emirates Golf Club for a sixth time, was pipped at the post at Doha Golf Club in the second instalment of The European Tour’s Desert Swing last week, when eventual winner Chris Wood made a spectacular eagle at the last to deny both the Spaniard and South Africa’s George
Coetzee a play-off for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Despite coming so close, however, the Castellon man said he is more than satisfied with his form ahead of his second event in The 2013 Race to Dubai.
“The only thing I could be disappointed with is not making it to the play-off. But, when you get beaten like George and I did, there's nothing you can really be sad about,” said Garcia, who shot an excellent six under par 66 in the final round to miss out by just one shot.
“If we had parred the last or even bogeyed the last, then you can be a little bit disappointed. George and I both birdied the last, and Chris came back and just made a great eagle on 18. When you get beaten like that, there's nothing to be disappointed about.”
Garcia’s best finish on the Majlis course is 11th place, in 2009, when a young Rory McIlroy completed his maiden European Tour victory, but he is aiming to improve on that this week by capitalising on his good form.
“I do like the course,” he reflected. “I've played okay for the most part here so I'm looking forward to it. Obviously coming off a good week last week I’m hoping to keep those good feelings going and hopefully I’ll have another chance on the weekend like I did last week.”
The Ryder Cup star had eye surgery in November and attributed some of his strong form –which yielded top ten finishes in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, in November and last week in Qatar – to his improved vision.
He continued: “It's obviously helped me. Although I've always felt like I've been a good green reader, the surgery has helped me focus on small spots more easilythan before.
“So when I was aiming before it would get a little blurry and then I would lose the spot a little bit. Now I can see a little bit sharper, so it makes it easier. I don't know exactly how much, but it obviously has helped. “
Garcia was also magnanimous in his assessment of Wood’s success last week across the gulf, and after finding out that the Englishman had a picture of him on one of his notebooks growing up, the Spaniard praised his development and mental strength.
“It’s great to know that he looked up to me when he was younger,” said Garcia.
“For me, it was nice to see him not only eagle the last, but come back after missing out on winning several times. And to be able to come back after the double bogey on the third and be able to win, I think for me that was maybe more impressive than the eagle on the last.
“Because it's easy to start thinking, ‘Oh, here we go again; I'm leading and now I've doubled the third and now everybody is right on my back’. That was impressive to see and above all I was happy for him.”