For all of the celebrations at the Open last weekend over the majestic victory enjoyed by Rory McIlroy, maybe a thought should be given to the valiant runner up, Sergio Garcia. For long vaunted as the heir apparent to his Spanish compatriot, the late, great Seve Ballesteros, whilst his performances at several Ryder Cups compare favourably with Europe's best over the years (16 wins, 8 draws and only 4 defeats), his major record hardly bears a passing resemblance. Maybe his motivations are enhanced by the spirit of a combined European team against the Americans, but a return of no major titles compared to Seve's five seems a little harsh for a player with such abilities.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Not that he hasn't had his share of near misses. Besides tying for second in this year's Open to match his achievement in 2007, he has also had top four finishes at all of the other majors over his career thus far, notably gaining second places at the PGA Championships held both in 1999 and 2008. Garcia of course is not alone amongst Europeans in recent years who have been seemingly destined to win majors, gone close on several occasions, but never quite managed to achieve their place amongst the history makers. Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would fall into the category of golfers who at times have won other events with apparent ease and could hardly be categorised as 'failures' by any stretch of the imagination, but surely there is at least a tinge of sadness within them that not even one major has come their way.

Advertisements

They must see the images of McIlroy with the Claret Jug and think "if only", however Montgomerie's record eight European Tour Order of Merit titles and Westwood's world number one ranking in 2010 (besides 40 professional titles) will be some consolation in their later years.

Maybe Garcia's time may yet come (he is still only 34) if he maintains his form over the next few years, but the competition is not getting any easier across Europe (with Kaymer and Rose joining McIlroy in already having tasted major success) never mind the World, with such multi major winners as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson still seeking further titles. Maybe he needs to follow the example of Montgomerie's persistence, as despite a heartbreaking five second places in majors, he has won both the PGA and US Open senior major titles in 2014. Only time will tell if Garcia is destined to stay the latest "nearly man" of golf or will find a way to take that last step to a major title. Surely the golfing Gods would not begrudge him that ?