AUGUSTA, Ga. — How would you react if, doing your job in front of a live television audience of millions and surrounded by thousands, you absolutely crapped the bed like Sergio Garcia did Thursday?
To refresh, in Round 1 of the Masters, Garcia – the defending champ – dunked not one, not two, not three, not four, but five balls in the drink on hole 15. He wound up carding a 13, tied for the highest score ever recorded on a hole at a Masters.
That’s some hallowed ground no one wants to touch, and yet there Garcia was, standing in the middle of 15, taking it like a boss. No slammed clubs. No f-bombs. Nothing.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” he said afterward. “It’s one of those things. I feel like — I don’t know, it’s the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot. Simple as that.”
Then he went home to his wife and 1-month-old daughter, Azalea — yeah, there’s a connection — and apparently that was that about the 13.
Prouder than ever of you, @TheSergioGarcia! You bounced back with a birdie on 16! Then we came home to our beautiful baby girl & you totally forgot about the day’s events because you know what’s truly important. ☺️ That’s golf & you’re amazing!
— Angela Garcia (@TheAngelaAkins) April 5, 2018
By Friday morning, he was providing some perspective. You see, 15 (named Firethorn) is the hole that propelled him to win last year’s green jacket. It’s where he nailed the pin with his second shot, then drained the eagle putt to draw square with Justin Rose. If not for that hole — the one that treated him so cruelly Thursday — he wouldn’t have a green jacket, a single major victory, and his daughter would certainly not carry the name Azalea.
Sergio won't be naming his next kid Firethorn.
— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) April 5, 2018
What happened on 15 @TheMasters yesterday was unfortunate for me and it hurt but I tried to handle it like a Masters Champion should. That same hole gave me that green jacket last year so we might end up naming our next kid Firethorn after all, funny man! https://t.co/vMIDTMGhrf
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) April 6, 2018
A few years ago, Sergio Garcia was a lesson in what not to do — like taking an unnecessary jab at Tiger Woods or spitting in a golf hole. Now, at 38, he’s providing a lesson on how to act. Funny what a green jacket will do.