DOHA, January 27, 2016-Sergio Garcia makes his first appearance of the 2016 season on a happy hunting ground as he tees it up for the 11th time at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters today.
The 2014 champion missed the cut on his first visit in 1999 but returned in 2007 and has played every year since, with five other top-10s complementing that victory two years ago.
The Spaniard has finished in the top five in three of the last four events and is glad to be back on a course that he admits suits him very well.
“I feel quite comfortable on this course,” he said. “It kind of caught my eye the first time I played it and I played it pretty much every year since. I obviously like what I see out there, and when you can play on one of those courses that you feel comfortable, usually you seem to do fairly well.”
“Obviously it’s getting windy. It’s supposed to get even windier, so it’s not going to be easy, but the course looks in very, very good shape and it’s always a good week to start my year. So I’m looking forward to it,” the Spaniard added.
Garcia burst onto the scene in 1999 at the age of just 19, winning two European Tour titles to finish third in the Order of Merit as he started out on a career that has so far brought him 11 European Tour wins.
Louis Oosthuizen has said that the 30-somethings now need to “work harder” to catch their youthful counterparts but Garcia, who turned 36 earlier this month, does not believe he has to change the system that has worked for him for 17 years on Tour.
“My appetite is the same,” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to see a lot of these young guys playing and playing well, because that means that the future of the game, it’s in good hands. But you know, my appetite is still the same. Obviously I love playing golf, I enjoy every minute of it, and I try to push myself to become better every year, better and more consistent. That obviously hasn’t changed.”
Garcia and defending champion Branden Grace will play their first two rounds together with rising English star Matt Fitzpatrick.