GARCIA STAKES RYDER CUP CLAIM
Struggling former world number two Sergio Garcia believes he has turned the corner after a miserable run of form and feels he has enough time to earn a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team to face the United States.
'It feels like my game is getting better,' Garcia told Reuters, 'and the good thing is we still have three months to go (before October's Celtic Manor Ryder Cup match).
'I feel more comfortable that my game is coming around. I'm starting to shoot some good rounds. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to put four together.'
The 30-year-old Spaniard, languishing at 32nd on the world rankings after a barren 15-month spell, had been so down on his performances that he said he would not even accept a wild card if Europe's captain Colin Montgomerie had to make his picks now.
However, on Wednesday on the eve of the Madrid Masters, Garcia, one of the few players to have amassed 4-1/2 points out of five in a Ryder Cup match, was more positive.
His optimism was matched by his main coach, Englishman Peter Cowen, that Garcia can raise his game and climb into Europe's automatic nine Ryder Cup places from his current berth of 17th.
Garcia explained why his game had fallen apart so badly.
'I've always been a good ball striker and I'm not going to lie, I've been struggling with that. And when that happens alarm sirens go off, because that's my strength.
'But I've done some good work with my dad (his other coach) and Pete Cowen and I'm feeling a lot happier.'
Garcia said his personal life — he had a much-publicised split with girlfriend Morgan Lee Norman, Greg Norman's daughter, last year — had not helped his frame of mind either.