Sergio Garcia has returned from golfing oblivion. He has won the last two events (in subsequent weeks) in his native Spain. Last week he conquered the European Tour field at his hometown Castello Masters in Tigeresque fashion. He triumphed by eleven shots. This week was more subdued; he won the Andalucia Valderrama Masters by a stroke over countryman Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Superb play over the last fortnight has helped Garcia jump back into the Top 20 in the world golf ranking. He now sits at no. 18, up thirty positions from earlier this month. His nadir came this January at the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain where he finished the week ranked 80th.
He looked finished. Plagued by a balky putter and scarred by near major championship misses (both times at the hand of Padraig Harrington), Garcia looked like a washed up 31 year old who would never live up to his potential. After all, he was a savant and had the golfing world captivated at 19 when he dueled with Tiger Woods on that PGA Championship Sunday at Medinah. By 30, dreadful play forced him to step away from the game.
2011 has been a renaissance for Garcia. He has four top tens on the European Tour, solid if unspectacular play. His October performances validated a comeback season and make Garcia a player to watch as the golf world heads into 2012. Olé.