And I want to thank Tiger Woods for not being here,” he added with a smile. “That always makes things a little bit easier.” The words of Sergio Garcia, speaking after his seventeenth hole play-off triumph at Sawgrass.
It’s understandable that Garcia would be happy and relieved after his success. For, after all, its been three years since his last PGA victory.
But was it wise to make the Tiger comment? Sergio might think that Tiger’s absence made his task easier. But why not keep these thoughts to yourself?
Surely these remarks will simply support Tiger’s sense of superiority, to the rest of the tour pack. Give him the evidence that confirms everything he already knows and feels. Evidence, he can use to his psychological advantage, at the business end of tournaments.
In securing his Sawgrass triumph, Sergio Garcia looked as he had grown up as a golfer. No longer a boy, now a man, with the emotional maturity, to, perhaps, consistently challenge the world’s best.
Garica should be looking at himself, as a player who maybe, can be the world’s best. And that means challenging and beating Tiger Woods. But first he has to believe in his own mind that he can do it. It’s the same leap of faith that Ernie Els took, when he began his successful phase of work, with Belgian sports psychologist Jos Vanstipout. A leap of faith, that said, yes, Tiger could be successfully challenged.
If and when Sergio Garcia makes that mental leap, then his post-Sawgrass remarks will be a thing of the past. For this success, can be the foundation, for him to match his undoubted talent, with the appropriate levels of self-belief.