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December 6 2013

1:23 PM

No. 25 player to watch: Sergio Garcia

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With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Check out this preview of No. 25 Sergio Garcia and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 to watch in 2014.


NO. 25 PLAYER TO WATCH: SERGIO GARCIA

2014 OUTLOOK: Sergio Garcia had as many top 10s in 2013 as he had in the previous two years combined. In other words, dramatically improved putting has led to a lot more consistency from Garcia, already one of the best ball-strikers and drivers of the ball on TOUR. His emotions can run hot on and off the golf course, however, and that at times has been a detriment to his play. Garcia has gobs of talent but has just one win on TOUR over the last five years after a period in which he won seven times over an eight-year span. The Spaniard is simply playing too well not to win again soon. -- Brian Wacker

THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Garcia shot a final-round 63 to finish fourth at the WGC-HSBC Champions, and he tied for 11th in his other start, at the CIMB Classic.

EXPERT VIEWS
FANTASY OUTLOOK
For four years (2009-2012), he owned arguably the greatest deficit from his cachet to his fantasy value. That has changed. Consider him among the elite internationals thanks to one of the most consistently strong years of any touring pro. His previous body of work cements our confidence. -- Rob Bolton
ON THE MARK
Garcia hits the ball well so easily it appears to me that at times he does not deal with any missteps as well as he should. To Sergio’s credit he has turned a weakness, his putting, into a strength and this will serve him well because he remains one of the cleanest strikers of a ball around. -- Mark Immelman
COURSE PREFERENCE
Garcia ranked eighth in strokes gained-putting in 2013 and actually led the category at one point during the season. That would seem to be the last piece missing in criteria to win a major. Which one is the best fit for his game in 2014? The PGA Championship seems to spit out first time major winners and Valhalla could be Garcia’s time. -- Fred Albers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 
Garcia’s improvement in putting over the years has been astounding. That trend continued in 2013 when he finished eighth in strokes gained-putting at .611. He was 121st (-.081) in 2008, 119th (-.074) in ’09, 159th (-.359) in ’10, 144th (-.192) in ’11 and 26th (.400) in ’12. -- Bill Cooney

VIDEO VAULT

Super Slo-Mo Drive: Sergio Garcia

The drive of multiple PGA TOUR winner Sergio Garcia, captured at The Barclays 2012, is analyzed by four-time PGA TOUR winner and Emmy-winning broadcaster Billy Kratzert.
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