Golf: Sergio Garcia raring to go on his Singapore Open debut

Golfer Sergio Garcia will be starting as one of the contenders at the SMBC Singapore Open.
Golfer Sergio Garcia will be starting as one of the contenders at the SMBC Singapore Open. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - SMBC Singapore Open debutant Sergio Garcia is hoping to extend his solid record in Asia with a winning performance this week at the Sentosa Golf Club.

The Spanish star has won five titles in the region - the 2002 Kolon Cup Korean Open, the 2008 HSBC Champions (China), the 2012 Iskandar Johor Open, the 2013 Thailand Golf Championship and the 2015 Ho Tram Open (Vietnam).

The world No. 15 will start as one of the contenders at the Serapong Course, alongside three-time Singapore Open champion Adam Scott (world No. 7) and four-time Major winner Ernie Els.

Garcia, 37, said in Tuesday's press conference ahead of the US$1 million (S$1.4 million) event: "I've always felt comfortable coming to Asia, I've done very well here in the tournaments I have played.

"It's always exciting to come here, not only for us but also for Asian fans. They don't get to see us that often, so you always feel like there's a lot of good energy around. It makes for exciting times."

The winter break afforded Garcia much needed rest after a busy 2016 that included his participation at the Rio Olympics and Ryder Cup.

He added: "I've had a nice little practice from the New Year onwards, and I'm excited about starting the season here.

"It's definitely much warmer than Europe and I hope I start well this week, get some good vibrations for the year and get it going."