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Sergio Garcia back in mix for majors again

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 6, 2014 at 11:27 am •  Published: August 6, 2014
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The only thing worse than being mentioned as the best player without a major is not being mentioned at all.

Sergio Garcia is back in the conversation.

The 34-year-old Spaniard is No. 3 in the world, his highest ranking in five years. He arrived at Valhalla for the PGA Championship coming off a pair of runner-up finishes. He briefly challenged Rory McIlroy at the British Open and then lost a three-shot lead to McIlroy at Firestone.

Fifteen years after his first close call at a major, Garcia looks as poised as ever.

"It's been a good year," Garcia said. "Obviously, a lot of high finishes, some really good chances of winning tournaments. Unfortunately, it's only happened once this year in Qatar, but I'm excited about it.

"It's another big week here in Valhalla. We're going to try to do more of the same and keep playing well and see if we can be there again on Sunday and have another good chance."

Just his luck, there always seems to be one guy doing a little bit better.

For years, that was Tiger Woods. Garcia was 19 when he nearly chased Woods down in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. He played with him in the final group of the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black and in the final group of the 2006 British Open at Royal Liverpool.

Woods hasn't won a major in six years. And now Garcia has to contend with McIlroy.

"I wouldn't say bad timing," said Garcia, with a smile. "I think playing well, it's always great. And if somebody else is playing better than you, there's nothing you can do. ...The only thing I can do is try to play the best I can. If I manage to do that, I know that I've shown that I can play really, really well. But if somebody else plays better, the only thing I can do is congratulate him and move on."

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