18 things about Masters champ Sergio Garcia
April 08, 2019
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- After winning his first major at the 2017 Masters Tournament, Sergio and Angela Garcia were married in July. (Jennifer Lindberg Weddings)
Family and friends were gathered outside around the firepit at the Austin, Texas ranch that Angela Akins’ parents own. The clock had just struck midnight as 2017 officially began.
As is the custom, hugs and kisses were exchanged. And in a nod to the Spanish heritage of Angela’s boyfriend, Sergio Garcia, the couple attempted to eat 12 grapes – one for each stroke of midnight – to assure a year’s worth of good luck.
“I can never do it because it's impossible,” Angela says with a laugh. “I don't know how anyone can -- I looked like a chipmunk with a mouth full of grapes.”
About 15 minutes later, the mood still exuberant, Sergio asked someone to turn down the music. He started talking about how much Angela meant to him and telling everyone how much he loved her.
“And as soon as he started saying that, I, I thought to myself, oh my God, is this really happening? And I didn't handle it well at all,” Angela recalls. “I was like, are you doing this right now? Really? In front of everyone? Oh my God.
“He's like, shhhh, I'm trying to talk. I was not cool, but anyways, and he got down on one knee and he proposed.”
Then Sergio slipped the ring he had picked out with her mother on Angela’s left hand.
“And the rest is history,” she says with an easy smile. “Now we have a one-year-old daughter and we couldn't be happier, and we have so much fun together. I think we both feel like we're the luckiest people on the planet.”
The couple first met at the 2015 Shell Houston Open in her hometown. But it would be nine months before they went out on their first date.
Angela, who was working as a TV reporter at the time, was getting out of a bad relationship so she was wary of men in general, not Sergio in particular. They talked and texted but she admits she probably wasn’t giving off any signals that she was interested.
“It wasn't that I didn't think Sergio is going to be an amazing person,” Angela says. “I just have high expectations and I didn't know if he was going to meet those. And he did. He really did.”
Sergio persisted, though, and she finally said yes. Their first date turned out to be a group affair that included his parents at a South Beach restaurant called The Bazaar by Jose Andres, the Spanish-American chef and James Beard Award winner.
The relationship grew serious quickly. Angela recalls I-love-yous being exchanged about three months into their courtship. She was attracted to Sergio’s spirit as well as his caring nature.
“And just from the very beginning Sergio, he made me laugh,” Angela says. “He still does, makes me laugh every single day.
“He is the wittiest, quickest person when it comes to jokes and things like that that I know, and he just has such a heart, a big heart. I think that anyone who knows him well knows that about him.”
Although Angela met Sergio’s parents on their first date, it would be several months before he met hers. When the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play debuted at Austin Country Club in 2016, he spent a couple of days at the ranch where he would later propose.
“We indoctrinated him quick into what Texas was,” Angela says. “Just riding around, looking at the animals and we like to barbecue and hang out by the pool and just relax.
“And my parents immediately were impressed, and they approved pretty quickly.”
Sergio has even become a staunch Texas football fan – and with good reason. Angela’s father, Marty, was an All-American quarterback for the Longhorns who later played in the NFL. Her paternal grandfather Ray, who died last year, is a member of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, too.
Oh, and her cousin is Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback -- so football is the very fabric of that family. Sergio already knew a little about the game, though, since he and Peyton Manning are friends but he never had a college team to root for until he met his wife.
Angela strayed slightly when she went to college, playing her first two seasons of golf at Texas Christian because she wanted to step out of her father’s large footsteps. But eventually the pull of the family legacy was too strong, and she finished her career at Texas.
“I grew up, we say bleeding orange and love the Longhorns, passionately,” Angela says. “And when the ‘Eyes of Texas’ or ‘Texas Fight’ comes on, I get teary-eyed. …
“It's just a special bond to have with him. And we both have our T-rings for being a letter-winner. And now I'm so thankful that, that I ended up going there so I could experience what my dad experienced.”
Angela says being exposed to sports at such a high level helps her understand how difficult what Sergio and the other players on TOUR do is on a daily basis. And her knowledge of golf makes her even more appreciative of the clutch shots they hit.
“I think that it probably, I understand when there's a difficult shot a little bit more, which definitely probably makes me a little bit more nervous at times,” Angela explains. “But I also think it makes me a little bit more in awe when I see the kinds of shots that these guys pull off.
“I mean, sometimes when I'm watching Sergio, I think to myself, what is it like to be the best in the world at something? You know what I mean? I mean all these guys out here, you're the best in the world at what they do. And there's not many people who know what it's like to be so good at something.”
So good, in fact, that Sergio finally picked up his long-awaited first major at the 2017 Masters, barely three months after proposing to Angela. He wore the Green Jacket for their first dance at their July wedding later that year.
The Masters even inspired the name of the couple’s first child, a daughter, Azalea Adele, who was born in March of 2018, just before Sergio returned to Augusta National to defend his title.
The name is doubly fitting. Not only is the golf course renowned for those brilliant flowers, Garcia made a clutch par from one of the bushes at the 13th hole – also named Azalea – on Sunday to fuel his victory.
“We are so blessed to have her,” Angela says.
18 things on Sergio Garcia
Editor’s note: No one knows a TOUR player better than his wife. So here are 18 things Angela wants you to know about Sergio.
1. Sergio is an amazing dad! I knew he would be and it's so sweet to watch Sergio and Azalea together. It's my favorite thing in the world! And it's amazing because even though he has a crazy busy schedule he always puts us first and makes time for us.
2. Sergio loves kids and always has. If you ask around to some of the other players and families on the PGA TOUR many of them have sweet stories of Sergio playing with their kids and kind of growing up with them. A good friend and fellow PGA TOUR wife just told me a story about Sergio always wanting to hold their now 18-year-old daughter when she was a baby.
3. Sergio is hilarious and definitely the funniest person I know! I think this is one of his best qualities. He makes me laugh just about every hour of the day and we have so much fun together.
4. Sergio is a great cook and makes breakfast, lunch and dinner for Azalea and me all the time. (We are very lucky!) One of our favorite dishes he makes is Spanish and has chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and broccoli. He roasts them all in a pan in the oven and it's delicious.
5. Sergio is the chef and I'm the baker in our relationship. Whenever Sergio makes an eagle in a tournament, he gets to pick any dessert for me to make him. He often chooses my Tres Leches cake. He loves it so much he had it on the menu as his dessert at his Masters Champions dinner!
6. Sergio is not only a wonderful father and husband, but he's a wonderful son, brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law and friend. He loves and cares for all of his family and friends so deeply and he has the biggest heart. This is one of the things I really love about him.
7. Sergio is such an animal lover. He would adopt every animal he meets if he could. He does not hesitate to pet a random dog or cat and they always love him back!
8. Sergio is a huge Real Madrid fan and now I am, too. We go to as many games as we can, and we went to two out of the last three Champions League Finals and watched Real Madrid win both times.
9. After Sergio won the Masters in 2017 he was invited to do the honorary kickoff at "El Clasico" which is the rivalry match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. This is a very big honor and it meant the world to Sergio. This particular game was in Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium. I got to go on the field with Sergio and hear 90,000 fans chanting "Seeeerrrrrrgggiiiiiiooooo!” Sergio had the biggest smile on his face and to this day it's one of the best memories.
10. Sergio loves watching movies and TV shows, and I do, too. Sometimes we have entire conversations where we just use movie quotes.
11. Sergio also loves music. He especially loves Queen and when the Bohemian Rhapsody movie came out, he was so excited because they are his favorite band. He listens to music every morning before a tournament round and together we make fun playlists throughout the year.
12. Sergio loves all of the Marvel movies and loves wearing t-shirts with all of the characters on them.
13. Sergio loves to play cards (especially poker) and is really good. We play a lot of games of spades when we are on the road and Sergio and I make a pretty good spades team!
14. Sergio is an incredible all-around athlete. He loves to play tennis and soccer (fútbol) and is seriously great at both. I also taught him how to properly shoot a basketball and throw a football and now he's really good at both of those too! We play a lot of basketball together and sometimes he even beats me now. But not in one-on-one... he can't hang! ;)
15. Sergio is super competitive (not surprisingly) and so am I. We are both athletes at heart, so we compete at pretty much everything we do. But it's healthy competition. :)
16. Sergio is ambidextrous. He plays golf and tennis and writes and eats right-handed, but he throws a ball and catches left-handed. He also plays soccer left-footed.
17. Sergio turned me into a Real Madrid fan, and he's become a huge University of Texas fan. (That's where I went to school and played golf.) We are always home in Europe during football season in the fall and we wake up in the middle of the night to watch the Longhorn games. I always fall asleep during the games, but Sergio doesn't, and he wakes me up with a sweet nudge to tell me when we score!
18. Sergio plays with a pink 18 on his golf ball to represent the year Azalea was born and has a University of Texas Longhorn putter head cover. He says that way he always has his two girls with him when he plays.