In 1999 Sergio Garcia shot 66 in the first round of PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club on his way to a runner-up finish to Tiger Woods. The Spaniard was 19 years old and made headlines by coming within a stroke of equalling the world number one.
He stumbled in the second round and shot 73, but trailed by two shots after carding a moving-day 68. A tough Sunday meant a round of 71 for Garcia, which wasn’t enough to secure the victory.
Next week he heads to the 98th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club as a 29-time international winner without a major title.
The Castellan-born golfer has since top-fived in all of the majors, including three close calls at the PGA Championship (second in 1999, tied-third in 2006, and tied-second in 2008).
The world number 10 is 36 years old and has gained the tag of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ at golf’s biggest four tournaments. His best performance in the last five PGA Championships was a tie for 12th at Atlanta Athletic Club in 2012.
The nine-time PGA Tour champ played for the Wanamaker Trophy at Baltrusol Golf Club in 2005 and shared 23rd place, so he has enjoyed relative success at the New Jersey track.
Garcia has been dubbed for a long time as one of the best golfers in the world not to have won a major, mainly due to questionable putting. The prime example of his flat stick woes came at the 2007 Open Championship, where he missed a par putt at the 18th to slip back into a playoff, which he lost to Padraig Harrington.
Garcia’s record this season shows a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson plus five top-five results, three of them coming in his most recent starts. He is in form heading to Baltusrol, but the question remains whether or not the putter will continue to mar his bid for a major title.