He might have finished runner-up on one of golf’s biggest stages for the fourth time but Sergio Garcia was philosophical about the outcome of this year's Open Championship.
Alongside Rickie Fowler, the Spaniard finished joint second at Royal Liverpool, two shots behind the new champion, Rory McIlroy.
The 34-year-old started the final round seven shots adrift of the Northern Irishman – one shot worse off than Fowler – and so to get within two by the day’s end, after carding a superb six-under-par 66, was no mean feat.
And whilst on paper this will appear as yet another near-miss for Garcia in the events where it matters most, the man himself doesn’t see it like that, preferring instead to take the positives from his performance at Hoylake.
“Everybody looks at you as second and they want to make it a negative,” he said. “Not at all. I felt like I played well. I felt like I did almost everything I could and there was a better player. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to look at other things. It’s that simple."
“It looks like I’m finally growing up." - Sergio Garcia
He added: “Sunday in a tournament, with a chance of winning – and, in this case, a major championship – it’s always exciting. I was excited when I woke up. There’s no better feeling. That’s why we love doing this. That’s what we practice for. It was a great experience.”
Garcia’s mood was in stark contrast to the downcast figure he cut at Carnoustie in 2007 after missing a putt to win the championship and, ultimately, losing in a play-off to Padraig Harrington. He subsequently admitted that it took him a long time to get over that disappointment.
Today, however, he smiled and blew kisses to the crowd as he walked down the 18th fairway.
“It looks like I’m finally growing up,” he smiled. “Overall, I thought it was a great week.”
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