In-form Garcia seeks win in Dubai
DUBAI (AFP) – Sergio Garcia will be looking to cash in on a rich vein of form and break into the top-10 of the world rankings this week at the Dubai Desert Classic.
The world No 14 Spaniard is one of the top attractions in the US$2.5 million tournament, which forms the last leg of the three-event Desert Swing of the European Tour.
Garcia narrowly missed out on winning the Qatar Masters in Doha last week when England’s Chris Wood jumped ahead of him and South Africa’s George Coetzee with an eagle on the last hole to win by one shot.
That was his first start of 2013 after finishing the previous year on a strong note with a win at the Iskandar Johor Open and a fourth place at the Thai Golf Championship.
In his five previous attempts at the Majlis course, Garcia’s best finish is a tied 11th, a fact that is surprising given his great ball-striking ability and how the golf course, with its numerous dogleg holes, forces players to hit all kinds of shots.
Garcia, who had a corrective eye surgery done after the Ryder Cup last year, said he was excited about the season after the start he has had.
England’s Lee Westwood is the highest ranked player in the tournament at No 8, and having relocated to Florida during the winter break, he is hoping to reap rich rewards of the hard work he has put in the last few weeks.
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello is the defending champion, while the tournament also features Wood and Jamie Donaldson, winners of the previous two week’s tournaments in Doha and Abu Dhabi.