March 13 (Reuters) - Winning a Masters did not change Sergio Garcia but the Spaniard was poised to have his life turned upside down on Tuesday as he discussed his Green Jacket defence while in a Texas hospital awaiting the birth of his first child.
As unflustered and cool as he was last April at Augusta National when he defeated Justin Rose for a first major title, Garcia offered no hint of the jitters that come with impending fatherhood.
“It has been an eventful morning,” Garcia told reporters on a conference call from Austin, Texas. “About an hour and a half ago, Angela’s water broke, so we are at the hospital right now.”
While Garcia admitted to being nervous and excited, he noted that it is his wife dealing with all the pressure while it is his turn to watch and offer support from the gallery.
“It is a different feeling,” explained Garcia, when asked to compare winning a Masters and becoming a father. “I am not the one having it so I’m kind of on the outside looking in but I am excited and a little nervous for Angela and baby to make sure everything goes well.”
Very shortly, however, the spotlight will be back on Garcia as he returns to Augusta National the first week of April for the season’s first major.
Last year, Garcia wore the mantle of golf’s nearly man, a brilliant talent who had been unable to get the job done on the sport’s biggest stages — the four majors.
Almost two decades of heartbreak disappeared in the Georgia twilight when Garcia slipped into a coveted dream jacket, triumphing at a tournament he once said he hated.
This year, a more reflective Garcia will arrive with a wife and baby in tow.
Despite all the life changes, however, the 39-year-old maintains he is still very much the same guy.
“They always tell me has it changed your life and I don’t feel like it has I am still doing the same things, I’m still the same guy,” said Garcia. “I don’t think I have changed in that aspect.”
For the moment Garcia’s focus will be on other things but his buildup to the Masters has been positive and smooth.
He opened the season with victory at the Singapore Open in January and produced improving results on the PGA Tour finishing a tie for seventh at the WGC Mexico Championship followed by a fourth place at the Valspar Championship on Sunday.
“Obviously I feel like my game is in good shape,” said Garcia. “I’m really happy with my new equipment, I have had a couple of good weeks so I am excited to go back there and defend my title as well as I can.
“I am fortunate to have had an amazing career, an amazing life and now it is getting even better with a win at Augusta, getting married to my best friend and an amazing woman and now having our first child.
“We have enjoyed every minute of it and we can’t wait for what the future is going to bring us.” (Editing by Christian Radnedge)