IN TOWN: Sergio Garcia meets the press on the Gold Coast. Picture: AAP ImageReigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia believes he is young enough and good enough to ensure his maiden major golf title isn’t a one-off.
Garcia has brought his Masters green jacket to the Gold Coast ahead of his n PGA Championship tilt starting Thursday.
Garcia, a Madrid fan, has this year kicked off an El Classico game and visited Wimbledon’s royal box while wearing the jacket.
It even made an appearance at his wedding, while the Spaniard is due to wear it to Tuesday night’s Greg Norman Medal dinner.
“I thought I knew how big the Masters was and the green jacket, how much it meant,” he said.
“But then once you win it and you start travelling with it and see the reaction of the people and players, you realise how massive it is and how much of an icon that green jacket is.
“It’s been amazing, a little bit overwhelming and shows the respect you have to give.”
Gold Coast will be world No.11 Garcia’s final golfing engagement of what he describes as a career year.
But at 37 he has hinted there is still plenty more to achieve.
He said the long wait for a major title meant he was used to the pressure and not worn down by it after finally breaking through earlier this year.
“That expectation and that kind of outside pressure has always been there,” he said.
“I know what I want to do, know what my expectations are and what I need to improve on.
“If I can do that I know my game’s in great shape, I’m still fairly young and can still achieve many, many things and it’s fun to have those possibilities.”
Garcia’s last visit to came in 2010, when he contested the now defunct Masters at Victoria Golf Club alongside 14-time major champion Tiger Woods.
He returns to on the back of a win and a fourth among his last three starts, anticipating that precision iron play will be key at the Royal Pines course.
Garcia will partner Scott and recent Hong Kong Open winner Wade Ormsby in a star-studded round one group from 6.10am on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Newcastle trio James Nitties, Nathan Green and Cal O’Reilly will tee off late Thursday morning.
Nitties will start at 11.30am (on the first hole), Green at 12.10pm (10th) and O’Reilly at 12.20pm (10th). Newcastle’s European Tour player, Andrew Dodt, will tee off at 11.20am on the back nine.