sports 4 days ago

With fatherhood next on the tee, Masters champion Garcia still participates in teleconference

The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville — Garry Smits The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

March 13--Masters champion Sergio Garcia can multi-task. This we now know.

Garcia, who won his first major championship at the Augusta National Golf Club last year in a playoff over Justin Rose, was scheduled to participate in a pre-Masters teleconference on Tuesday. About 90 minutes before the beginning of the 9 a.m. call, his wife Angela's water broke and the two rushed to a hospital in Austin, Texas.

No problem. Once told that his wife would not give birth to their daughter immediately, Garcia called into the teleconference and fielded questions from the media about his Masters title and the aftermath.

After Garcia was introduced by moderator Steve Ethun of Augusta National, he said, "Can you give me just one second please? Angela needs to tell me something."

A few second later, Garcia said, "Okay ... sorry," and he then took 22 questions in a teleconference that lasted about 30 minutes.

"It's it kind of, I don't know, surreal," he said of talking about his greatest golf accomplishment when he was on the verge of one of life's biggest accomplishments, fatherhood. "It's a different feeling, obviously. I'm not the one having it [the baby]. I'm on the outside looking in. I'm excited, a little nervous for Angela and the baby to make sure everything goes well. It's funny how the timing is. This was supposed to be Sunday, but it looks like she's coming a little early. We're excited and everything looks good. We can't wait."

The 11 months since his victory at Augusta have been life-changing in several ways.

Garcia birdied the first playoff hole to beat Rose, ending one of the longest quests by a worldwide star in golf to win a major championship. He shot 70-69 on the weekend, and earned his spot in the playoff with a nearly impossible par after hitting into the hazard on the left side of No. 13, birdied No. 14 and then eagled No. 15.

He then made a 12-foot birdie putt on the playoff hole, No. 18, when all he needed was a par to win.

Garcia credited his wife, the daughter of former University of Texas quarterback Marty Akins and a former UT golfer, with motivating him to finally break the major ice. Only five years before that, Garcia was one shot off the lead entering the third round, shot 75, and lamented to the media that he didn't think he was "good enough" to win a major.

Garcia then got married in July in Texas, with Kenny G performing at the reception. He says he's more than ready for fatherhood ,

"I'm looking forward to everything," he said. "Spending time with my wife, trying to raise our daughter the best way possible, trying to make all the decisions as well as we can. That's all we can hope for."


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