Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's there for Sergio's taking

The British Open couldn’t be set up any better for Sergio Garcia to win.

He has a three-stroke lead over Steve Stricker with 18 holes to play and he’s six clear of everyone else.

Best of all for Garcia, Tiger Woods is eight strokes behind.

This is Sergio’s moment. Now he has to seize it.

Garcia has grown justifiably weary of answering questions about why he hasn’t won a major championship so far. This is his 35th professional major and it’s time he finished one off.

He’s leading at Carnoustie because he’s played better than anyone else. Saturday was a fine example of managing himself around 18 holes, avoiding the costly mistake while taking advantage of the scoring chances he gets.

Garcia hit long irons off the tee on several par-4s to make sure he didn’t find the fairway bunkers that are, effectively, a one-stroke penalty.

He’s not making every putt but the difference this week is Garcia is putting with confidence. Having made the sensible move to the belly putter after the U.S. Open last month, Garcia feels good on the greens again. When he looks up, he sees the ball starting on line, something he wasn’t seeing often enough with a conventional putter.

There are plenty of doubters when it comes to Garcia but I feel like this is the one he wins. It’s important for him to get off to a good start in the final round and it would help Garcia if the conditions aren’t severe. He doesn’t look forward to playing in difficult conditions.

Just imagine the party Garcia might throw if he wins the claret jug on Sunday.