FedExCup spotlight: Sergio Garcia

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Sergio Garcia's return to form was one of the stories of the 2012 Playoffs.

By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM

Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sergio Garcia is starting to look like the Sergio Garcia of old and that’s not good news for the rest of the PGA TOUR.

Garcia, an eight-time PGA TOUR winner and 2008 PLAYERS champion, has finished inside the top 20 in six of seven starts this season and boasts three top-10 finishes.

He’s come a long way since 2010, where he took a sabbatical away from the game that included skipping that year’s FedExCup Playoffs. He would finish a career-worst 109th in the FedExCup that season and not return to the TOUR until the following March.

This season, Garcia has given himself a number of early opportunities. He’s currently 10th on TOUR in scoring average before the cut but has struggled on the weekends, ranking 83rd and 70th in third- and fourth-round scoring average.

Should Garcia make his seventh cut of the 2013 season this week, it will be interesting to see how he reacts on the weekend. He’s posted par-or-better weekend totals in five of 11 tries on a very difficult host course, but among the six other attempts he has Sunday scores of 79, 78, 78, 78 and 77.

Currently 43rd in the FedExCup standings right between FedExCup staples Jim Furyk and Luke Donald, Garcia could move as high as fifth with a win this week at TPC Sawgrass.

His start total will likely be the No. 1 factor in where he qualifies for the Playoffs. Garcia currently ranks 18th on TOUR in FedExCup points per event and is seventh among those without the benefit (and point boost) of a victory.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 more starts can be expected from Garcia for the rest of the PGA TOUR Season -- a count that should include three majors and a title defense at the Wyndham Championship -- in addition to this week’s PLAYERS.

We saw a glimmer of Garcia’s return to form when he won the 2012 Wyndham and backed it up with finishes of T3, T24 and T15 in the FedExCup Playoffs. He’s carried that forward into this season with his strong play and, with the rate he’s been knocking on the door early in 2013, it’s safe to say we’ll be hearing much more from Garcia as the season progresses.

Garcia's FedExCup finishes
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
9th 3rd 38th 109th 44th 17th
FedExCup highlights
• Garcia has never topped the FedExCup standings but he was No. 2 for two weeks in the 2008 Playoffs where he went on to a career-best third-place overall finish.
• Garcia has competed in 17 Playoff events, finishing inside the top 25 in 13 of them.
• He joined Steve Stricker as the only two players to finish inside the top 25 in the first eight FedExCup Playoff events (all four in both 2007 and 2008)
• Twice a runner-up in 2008, Garcia has yet to win a Playoff event. He's won twice on TOUR overall (2008 PLAYERS, 2012 Wyndham) since the FedExCup competition started in 2007.
Garcia's PLAYERS results, FedExCup standings
Year FedExCup before PLAYERS result Points earned FedExCup after
2007 36th 2nd 2,970 12th
2008 115th Won 4,950 14th
2009 136th T22 44.5 117th
2010 88th T47 22 82nd
2011 103rd T12 62.28 89th
2012 78th T56 13 78th