• Garcia takes it on the chin

    Sergio Garcia at NGC
    Garcia was quick to praise his friend's win

    Outplayed by a flawless 64 and perhaps, not at his best, that’s the immediate thoughts of Nedbank Golf Challenge runner-up Sergio Garcia, writes WADE PRETORIUS at Sun City.

    READ: Oosthuizen: I gave it my best

    The Spaniard led after the first three rounds but a final round 70 that started with a par and included just three birdies wasn’t enough to get the job done. Not when friend and Ryder Cup teammate Lee Westwood fired a flawless 64 that matched his own best effort this week.

    ‘It’s as simple as that,’ said the 2017 Masters winner when asked by Compleat Golfer if Westwood’s brilliance was too much for his steady play on Sunday.

    ‘I would’ve love to make three or four more birdies you know and just get past him.’

    ‘But that 64 was just too much.’

    ALSO READ: 7-iron stunner helps Westwood win again

    ‘I expected the course to play a bit tougher than it did. Maybe they were scared of the heat because they watered them quite a bit. It made the course easier and that took some getting used to. It wasn’t what we were expecting. To shoot 64 in the last round, it’s amazing and I’m happy for him.

    ‘I played as hard as I could. Perhaps, I didn’t have my A game with me. On a tough golf course, I worked hard, stayed patient … and I almost won. It was a positive week.

    True to form, Garcia was quick to remove the pin flag on the final hole and made sure he found Westwood’s partner-come-caddie Helen to make sure they have the momento to remember his third NGC win and the first European Tour win since 2014.

    ‘It’s customary. I took it and gave it to them. I’m so happy for the both of them.  He played well in Valderrama. I wish I would have won myself, but if not, obviously to see Lee do it is pretty nice.’

    There was some consolation for Garcia as he jets off to Dubai some R11 8519 85 rand richer after finishing second alone.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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