Garcia feeling lucky ahead of Masters finale
Sergio Garcia has endured more than his fair share of major heartbreak, but feels luck may be on his side as he aims to break his duck at the Masters.
Garcia - one of four second-round leaders at Augusta - went around in 70 on Saturday to retain a share of top spot. He and Justin Rose will begin the final round on six under, one clear of Rickie Fowler with Augusta's perennial challenger Jordan Spieth among those a stroke further back.
Widely regarded as one of the finest players not to have won a major, Garcia has at times cut a disconsolate figure in golf's biggest events.
But having announced his engagement to golf reporter Angela Akins at the start of 2017, the Spaniard currently appears happy on and off the course. And his mood in the third round was helped by a stroke of good fortune on the 13th, when his ball looked set to roll back into Rae's Creek only to hold up on a bank, enabling Garcia to get up and down for birdie.
"I've definitely had some good breaks throughout all three rounds," reflected the 37-year-old.
"Thirteen, obviously, was one of them. Fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year. I got a nice break and made a nice birdie."
Asked to describe his relationship with Augusta, a course he famously criticised in 2009 before apologising for his comments, Garcia added: "It's definitely improved. There's no doubt about that.
"[There's] nothing wrong with Augusta. I think that the main thing that has improved is the way I'm looking at it the last, probably, two or three years, and obviously this year.
"It's the kind of place that if you are trying to fight against it, it's going to beat you down. So you've just got to roll with it and realise that sometimes you're going to get good breaks, like has happened to me a few times this week, and sometimes you're going to get not-so-good breaks."
After recording 22 top-10s, including four runner-up finishes, in majors without tasting success, Garcia would be a hugely popular winner in any circumstance.
Yet victory at Augusta this week would be extra special given Sunday's final round falls on what would have been the 60th birthday of the late, great Seve Ballesteros - an idol of Garcia who twice won the Masters.
"Him and [Jose Maria] Olazabal, I said it, I think it was yesterday, they were both my big idols growing up," Garcia said.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it would mean ... I don't even know how much it would mean to be able to join both of my idols as a Masters winner. It would be nice to have a chance and hopefully do it.
"Obviously Seve couldn't do it, but Jose sent me a beautiful message on Wednesday night, and you know, he has a good touch when it comes down to those things. It really meant a lot."