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Sergio Garcia  

Professional Golfer, Winner of the 2017 Masters Tournament

He is one of the leading young stars in the game, and has spent much of his career in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Garcia began golfing at age 3, taught by his father. He was a star player as a junior, winning his club championship at age 12, and setting a record at age 14 being the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event, the 1995 Turespana Open Mediterranea. That same year he also became the youngest player to win the European Amateur Championship.

Garcia turned professional in 1999 after shooting the lowest amateur score in the 1999 Masters. He achieved early prominence with a duel against Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship, eventually finishing second. Late in the final round Garc�a hit his most famed shot: with his ball up against a tree trunk and the green hidden from view, he swung hard with his eyes shut (lest the ball rebound and hit him) and hit a low curving punch shot that ran up onto the green, during which he sprinted madly into the fairway and then jumped to see the result.

He won his first PGA TOUR tournament at the 2001 MasterCard Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas and won again at the Buick Classic the same year. In 2002, he won the Mercedes Championships and in 2004, Garc�a won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and the Buick Classic for the second time. His sixth PGA Tour victory came at the 2005 Booz Allen Classic. He also plays a limited schedule on the European Tour, where he has also won six times.

Garcia was also a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 1999, and again in 2002 and 2004, with a very impressive career record at the Ryder Cup of 10-3-2. He has risen as high as the top five of the Official World Golf Rankings, but is struggling in 2006 (he is 46th in year to date world ranking points for the calendar year as of 9 June.)

Garcia is a charismatic player with a large fan base, especially among young women. When he first turned professional he had an unorthodox swing with a loop and large lag in it, but during 2003 he worked on making his swing more conventional. For a time he also had a practice of repeatedly gripping, releasing, and regripping his hands on the club handle before finally taking a shot; this "waggle" habit got out of control, such as at the 2002 U.S. Open when some galleries audibly counted the number of regrips into the twenties. Since then he has eliminated the habit.

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