Garcia’s victory at the Masters Tournament in April ended his long wait for one of golf’s four biggest prizes and he now returns to the event where he burst on to the international scene in 2009.
Aged just 19, Garcia finished one stroke behind Tiger Woods at Valhalla but had to wait 18 years to get his hands on a Major and will play with US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Open champion Jordan Spieth at Quail Hollow Club on Thursday and Friday.
That group will get the lion’s share of the attention on day one and while Garcia admits he feels different to have finally become a Major champion, he insists there is no complacency in his game.
“You do think: ‘whatever happens, I’ve already won the Masters’ and it’s amazing,” he said
“You still want to go out there and play the way you know how to play and contend and have another shot at it” – Sergio Garcia
“But at the same time it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to go out there and try as hard as you can, because that’s what we do. That’s the only way we know how to play. And if I didn’t care, then I wouldn’t get angry when I don’t play the way I want to.
“So you do have that in the back of your mind, feeling like I’ve already achieved something amazing this year. But at the same time, you still want to go out there and play the way you know how to play and contend and have another shot at it.”
Since that win at Augusta National – which was his second of the season on the European Tour – Garcia has finished in a tie for second at the BMW International Open but did not challenge at the season’s other two Majors.
The 37 year old admits his game is not currently exactly where he wants it to be but he believes he can get back on rack if his trademark stellar ball-striking returns.