Though winning a green jacket is a life-changing moment, there still isn’t anything that can compare to the birth of your child, especially your first. So when The Forecaddie heard that Sergio Garcia was participating in the annual Masters champion’s teleconference from the hospital as his wife, Angela, was about to give birth to a baby girl, The Man Out Front couldn’t help but get emotional.
But alas, Garcia was on the call to talk about golf, specifically his upcoming title defense at Augusta National.
How has his life changed since winning a green jacket?
Garcia insists it hasn’t.
Does he consider himself one of the favorites to win this year?
It doesn’t matter, Garcia said.
And what about the golf club he gave to Augusta National to be displayed in the club’s grill room?
Garcia’s answer came as no surprise to TMOF.
Traditionally, Masters champions donate a club – preferably one they used to win their green jacket – for Augusta National to showcase in its trophy and grill rooms. The trophy room is reserved for mementos from 1934-54, including the putter Horton Smith used to win the first Masters Tournament. Among the items in the grill room are Tiger Woods’ driver from Woods’ first Masters victory, in 1997, and Larry Mize’s wedge that he used to hole out a winning chip shot on the second playoff hole in 1987.
Garcia’s club of choice: the 8-iron he hit with his second shot into the par-5 15th hole during the final round.
Garcia considers the second shot into 15 one of the most challenging shots for him every year at Augusta National.
“It’s a very thin line between hitting an amazing shot, and (hitting) one that feels like an amazing shot and ends up wet,” Garcia said.
Yet, on that Sunday last year, Garcia hit a near perfect shot from 192 yards that nearly flew into the hole before finishing 15 feet away. Garcia followed with an eagle putt that helped get him into a playoff, which he went on to win over Justin Rose.
“I’ve always said it, when I look at and when I think about 15, and not only the second shot, but the putt, the eagle putt, the energy that I felt from the patrons there, it’s something that I’ve very rarely felt,” Garcia said. “I felt so much excitement and so much amazing, great energy going toward me when I made that putt. I thought that was a very, very special moment, even though there were other ones that were very important and special, too.”
Surely, when Garcia tells his daughter about his Masters win someday, the pinnacle of that story will be Sunday at the 15th hole, and the “amazing” 8-iron that was struck that afternoon.