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The Masters 2017

Prize may come for those who do their best

The first major win by Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia after 18 years and 73 appearances should be inspirational for all

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 12:51am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 12:51am

Hong Kong parents are prone to expect the best of their children, to want them to win at the least a certificate or prize. Tuition, practice and hours of after-school work are seen as the ingredients of success. In a competitive environment, it is understandable but not realistic given that not every one can finish first or even make the top 20. Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia’s story is therefore inspirational.

Garcia recently won his first major golfing competition, the US Masters, by claiming a sudden-death playoff against Justin Rose. He had been competing for 18 years and, of his 73 appearances, had been a runner-up four times and placed in the top five on 12 occasions. He had gained a reputation for being the best golfer to never win a major and adopted a resigned stance to match, once remarking that he was not good enough and had come to the conclusion that he needed to play only for second or third place. If he was the child of a Hong Kong parent, he would be scolded and there would be tears. He freely acknowledged his flaws, among them cracking under pressure and letting his emotions get in the way of his game. But even though the golfing world treated him like the bridesmaid who always drops the bouquet, it should have had more faith and understanding. His unexpected victory in Augusta is obviously a prize he fully deserves.

How the Masters and Sergio Garcia combined to paint an unlikely masterpiece

People who were competent but never got a glittering prize or rose to the top are all around us; we may even be that person. “Best never to win” lists abound in the sporting and entertainment worlds and even in politics. Among acclaimed actors never to have won an Oscar are Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, Amy Adams and Johnny Depp. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has still not recognised the Moody Blues, Duran Duran, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and The Smiths. Hillary Clinton would be included in the “best politician never to be US president” category in the minds of some Americans. It is the same with life – no matter how well we do, there will not always be a prize. But for Garcia and others like him who year after year do their best, there sometimes is.