Off-form Garcia vows to help recapture Cup

LONDON • Sergio Garcia promised to "give everything" to help Europe win back the Ryder Cup after being given a wild card by captain Thomas Bjorn on Wednesday despite his poor form this season.

The 38-year-old Spaniard has missed the cut at the last five Major championships, and has managed only one top-10 finish since April.

But that came at Cup venue Le Golf National in the French Open, and Bjorn is counting on Garcia's experience in the matchplay showdown against the United States after seeing five rookies qualify for the event automatically.

"It is very exciting for me to be part of another Ryder Cup team, and I'm going to give everything I have," said Garcia, who has been part of five Ryder Cup-winning teams.

"(I'm) very thankful to Thomas for believing in me and, you know, I know that it probably wasn't an easy decision.

"It's been a tough year obviously... I've been working hard. I feel like my game is coming along."

It will be his ninth Ryder Cup appearance, having won 221/2 points since becoming the event's youngest player as a 19-year-old in 1999.

Bjorn likened Garcia's presence in the team as that of a "football captain".

"In sport, people on the outside just tend to look at performance and that's so easy to measure," the 47-year old Dane said.

"And I know people are going to wonder how much quality Sergio will bring on the course. I believe he will bring plenty, but I also know what Sergio brings off the course. He's right at the centre of it every single time.

"Sergio is the one who will stand up in the middle of the room and who the others will listen to. I also think that this is going to make everybody else around him, around the team, better."

The Ryder Cup gets under way on Sept 28, with the United States arriving in Paris as defending champions, but looking for their first win on European soil since 1993.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'Off-form Garcia vows to help recapture Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe