Challenging for the World no 1

The question has been asked for some time now. Who is going to challenge Tiger for the World number 1 position? Perhaps it is because Mr Woods is still recovering from his knee problems and being fully aware that the difference is ridiculously big still – I have a feeling that the threat might come from Spain. Sergio Garcia is starting to show some of the potential that a lot of people have seen in him for many years. After winning the first tournament of the Race to Dubai I have a feeling that there are reasons to look out for the Spanish matador during next year.

Where do you start a journey towards ending up anywhere near World number 1? We have all heard the stories about Tiger hitting golf shots on TV as a 3 year old. What about Sergio? Well, as a 12 year old he won the Club Championship but he waited until 14 to win the European Amateur and to make the cut in his first European Tour event. In 1996 he first showed up on my radar as a young lad on the Spanish team that beat my Swedish team in the final of the European Boys Championships. It took him until 1998 to win the Amateur Championship and thanks to that he earned his invitation to the 1999 US Masters where he finished as the low amateur. In 1999 he had played in 28 professional events as an amateur before turning pro following the Masters in April. In his second tournament as a professional, his first on the PGA Tour, he finished 3rd in the Byron Nelson Classic. Pretty impressive!

I do wonder though if the most impressive performance I have seen from Garcia is not the shot out of the tree on 16 in the PGA Championship were he challenged Woods for the first time. Remember it?

I have a feeling some of that magic has been lost along the way but I am sure that if Sergio can get a bit of it back then Tiger better come back sooner rather then later!

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