Garcia on verge of Ryder Cup inclusion
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 Wyndham Championship | Round Three | 19 Aug 2012
Despite what appears on the surface to have been a slump for Sergio Garcia over the past two years the Spaniard has in fact been one of the game’s most consistent performers.
Until the recent Open Championship Garcia had made the cut in every event in which he had played over the previous twelve months and had won twice, both of those victories coming in his homeland towards the end of last year.
Garca missed the cut again at last week’s PGA Championship but at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro he has bounced back to lead the event into the final round and is well placed to win his first PGA Tour event since the Players Championship in 2008.
Garcia recorded a third round of 66 to lead by one over talented 22 year old Bud Cauley and South Africa’s Tim Clark.
A win or a good finish tomorrow would guarantee Garcia automatic qualification for the European Ryder Cup team and even if he was to miss out narrowly his efforts will have no doubt attracted the attention of his fellow countryman and captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
“Everybody knows how much the Ryder Cup means to me,” said Garcia after his second round on Friday and before he found himself in the position he now enjoys at the top of the leaderboard. "I was obviously very disappointed last week when I didn’t manage to make the cut and fell out of the Top-10 to qualify for the team.
“I love the Ryder Cup and I would love to be in it. If I’m in it, I’ll give it my best and I’ll try to bring as many things as I can to the European team.
“If I’m not I’ll be the No. 1 fan watching at home on TV. So, you know, that’s pretty much all you can do.”
Clark’s successful return from elbow injury earlier this season continues and some of his success to date this week the South African puts down to the style of golf course.
“I think having played this style of course in college quite a bit and, obviously, I enjoy the type of golf course,” said Clark.
“I like the grasses, I like the bermuda fairways, the fact that you got to hit it in the fairway and the greens are very penalizing if you don’t hit them in the right spots. You have to be pretty precise with your iron game. I feel like it does suit me.”
Clark is in a relaxed frame of mind having spent a couple of days in Bermuda to refresh after the rigours of the PGA Championship.
Cauley is in his first full season on the PGA Tour after doing well enough in events in which he played by invite last year to secure his PGA Tour status. He has three top five finishes already this season and is a player of considerable promise. He will win on the PGA Tour and if it what this week then few would be surprised.
Rod Pampling leads the Australians in 33rd position despite dropping several places with his third round of 70. He has done enough it would seem to secure his position inside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup points standing. He is currently 118th in the projected standings.
Nick O’Hern is 49th and Stuart Appleby 53rd on this week’s leaderobard.
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