Garcia drawing on Seve memory to end Major drought

(Augusta, GA:) Sergio Garcia will draw strongly on fond memories of what would have been the 60th birthday of mentor, the late Seve Ballesteros as he looks to finally capture a first Major at Augusta National.

Garcia produced one of his grittiest scores in 19 showings at Augusta National in carding a three under par 69 in the bright but continuing blustery weather to join American Charley Hoffman at four under par to share the Masters clubhouse lead.

The pair were joined also by Rickie Fowler, who surged into a share of the lead following a superb round of 5-under 67 alongside Germany’s Thomas Pieters.

Hoffman, who had secured the biggest opening day lead in 65-years on day one of four shots struggled on day two in the bright but again blustery and cold conditions shooting a three over par 75.

Garcia, 37, has long remained among a handful of players in the ‘Never To Have Won A Major’ club after finishing second to Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship.

Since then the spirited Spaniard has been runner-up twice in The Open, including second to McIlroy in 2014 at Hoylake, while Garcia was also second in the 2008 PGA.

He’s also had 17 other top-10s in the Majors and with his best Masters showing T4 in 2004.

But with Seve, who passed away in 2011 and would have turned 60 on the final day of the Masters, what better inspiration can there be for Garcia.

“It would mean a lot if I was to win on Sunday,” he said.

“It’s difficult to describe it until it happens. But at the same time, it’s Friday afternoon. It’s not Sunday.

“So hopefully, we’ll be standing here and we’ll be talking about that, that feeling again. That would be the best thing that could happen to me, and you know, I’m going to do my best to make sure that I’m here to tell you how it feels.”

Garcia is clearly more at peace with himself and that’s helped by flling in love with former Golf Channel employee, Angela Akins with the couple to be married in June in her home town of Austin, Texas.

“I know I have a lot more grey hairs in my beard and I have a couple of greys in my hair, so things have definitely changed since my first Masters,” he said.

“I’m a little bit calmer now. I think that I’m working on trying to accept things, like I said earlier, which can happen here and can happen anywhere. It’s part of golf. It’s not easy. It’s much easier to say than to do it.”

“But that’s the challenge we always have, you know, making sure that you accept the bad moments or the bad breaks with the good ones, and kind of move on.”

Former Masters champions Adam Scott heads the Australian field at T10 following a second round 3-under 69 with Marc Leishman in 19th place, amateur Curtis Luck 45th and former world number one, Jason Day, lucky to make it to the weekend following rounds of 74 and 76.