Honma Hong Kong Open

‘More majors and probably more babies’ on Sergio Garcia’s wish list as he eyes Hong Kong Open success

The Spaniard is eager to tackle Fanling for the first time and says there will be no let down after a busy end to the European Tour season

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 7:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 9:57am

As one season morphs seamlessly into the next for the European Tour’s best, Sergio Garcia says he wants to win “more tournaments, more majors and probably make more babies”.

It has been a big 2017 for the Spaniard, who won the Masters in April and married his wife Angela in July, with the pair expecting their first child in the new year.

He enters this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open – the first event of the 2017-18 European Tour season – in strong form after tying for fourth in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai at the weekend, which saw him settle for fourth overall in the Race to Dubai.

“You start a new year and you kind of reset, you want to keep improving, you don’t want to get comfortable with what you’ve done,” he said.

“You want to make sure you keep moving forward and keep putting yourself in a position to win more tournaments, more majors and probably make more babies,” the 37-year-old added with a laugh.

“I’ve been to Hong Kong before but it is my first time playing here. I have seen the tournament on TV and I have heard from many players how good the course is and how good of a tournament it is.”

Three of the top four finishers in the Race to Dubai are on show in Hong Kong this week, with winner Tommy Fleetwood and runner-up Justin Rose joining Garcia.

Rose joked on Tuesday his off-season consisted of one day, but for Garcia the heavy schedule and any potential let down after an intense finish to the season will not be an issue once he takes to Fanling.

“It’s a very easy challenge, every week is different and there is something that you can try to improve on and this week is going to be no different,” he said.

“Hong Kong is a very special city and it’s nice to come and see the lights and experience some of the restaurants.

“This is the year I’ve tried to play new tournaments, I’d never played in Italy so I did it this year and I’ve never played here so I’m doing it.

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“I’m excited about it, and then going to Australia [for next week’s Australian PGA Championship] after not going there in around seven years.”

After duelling with Rose and Fleetwood as the Race to Dubai reached its conclusion, Garcia knows what he is up against in a field that also includes Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“All these guys can play, not only Justin and Tommy, there is so many great players nowadays. You have got to stay on your toes,” he said.

“The greens are beautiful, the course is spectacular,” Garcia added about Fanling. “To me, it kind of has a feeling like [famous Spanish course] Valderrama, maybe not as extreme as Valderrama, but it’s very much a position kind of golf course.

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“Maybe you don’t need to hit it as far as some courses, but it is still very, very demanding. If you don’t hit the right tee shots and the right shots to the greens, you are going to be struggling to make pars. You have to be precise and I love that kind of golf course.”

Rose is the field’s form player after shaking up the Race to Dubai with wins in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and the Turkish Airlines Open within the last month.

He then led into the final day in Dubai before a shaky back nine saw him fall to fourth, but he is ready to regain the Hong Kong Open title he won in 2015.

“There is a cost to everything, you can’t keep asking from your body if you don’t put a little bit back in,” he said. “I have really been focusing on the recharge in every aspect and just trying to recover in as many ways as I can in the last month, so hopefully that carries me through.

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“I still have a lot of golf to play, I’m not really going to take an extended break until February. This isn’t the finish line and I think sometimes the finish line is a mental thing rather than a physical thing.

“I’m staying quite on it really mentally right now, so I don’t expect much of a let down this week at all.”