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Garcia not expecting Fleetwood and Rose to stumble

Spaniard will look back on 2017 with pride regardless of Race to Dubai finish

Image Credit: AP
Sergio Garcia
Gulf News

Dubai: Masters champion Sergio Garcia only gives himself a two per cent chance of wrestling the Race to Dubai from Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose this week, but says that won’t taint what’s been a vintage year for him.

The three converge at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday in a bid to be crowned European No. 1.

Garcia is just over a million points behind Race to Dubai leader Fleetwood and almost 800,000 behind second-placed Rose.

In order to beat them both to the overall season’s prize, the 37-year-old Spaniard would need to win and hope that Fleetwood finishes outside the top-20 and Rose finishes worse than solo fourth.

The European Tour’s number-crunchers officially hold the chances of that happening at just three per cent, but Garcia puts it even lower.

“I’m going to go out there and try to do what I do every week, which is to play the best I can and give myself the best option of winning,” said the World No. 11.

“I can’t control what the other people do. Obviously, both Tommy and Justin are playing really well.

“I’m not expecting them to finish 40th or 50th. To be totally honest, I see a two per cent chance of me winning the Race to Dubai, but I’m fine with it. I can live with it. It’s been a great year, and that’s not going to change,” added Garcia, who not only ended his wait for a Major this year, but also picked up wins at the Dubai Desert Classic and the Andalucía Masters either side.

He’s also been busy off the course, marrying his fiancee Angela Akins in July and last month announcing that they were expecting their first child next March.

Asked if he now wishes he had tweaked his schedule to incorporate more appearances than he’s played this year (12) thus racking up more points to mount a proper challenge for a title that he’s never won, he replied: “Not at all.

“Winning the Race to Dubai is great but I’m not going to change my whole life for it. I had some important things that I needed to take care of, and that’s not going to change. I’m happy finishing second, third, fourth or whatever I finish at the end of the week.”

In six appearances at this event, Garcia has also never finished inside the top five, making his chances of winning this week even less likely.

“I guess it’s probably not one of my favourite golf courses, so that probably doesn’t help. But it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be able to do well.

“I’ve had some good weeks here,” he said, in reference to his best appearance being a seventh-place finish at the inaugural event in 2009. “But I haven’t had weeks as well as I probably should have. But, we’ll try to make that happen this week.”

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