|THAT WAS THEN Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe|
Back in the fall of 2008 when he won the HSBC Champions and ascended to the rank of World Number Two, Sergio seemed poised to fulfill long standing predictions of golf greatness as the planet's top player.
In reality it was the beginning of a three-year title drought, and an abrupt reversal of fortunes for the tempestuous Spaniard.
Shortly before HSBC, there had been a win at the first ever Castello Masters... an especially meaningful win because Señor Garcia actually hosts this tournament, at his home course, surrounded by friends and family.
At that time we were introduced to the Castello Masters' decidedly unusual trophy. It looks like... well... some have suggested Mr. Potato Head, and frankly, I've got to agree. With a golf club in hand and a hat that looks like something Bill Murray might put on for the Pebble Beach ProAm, the effigy does resemble that tuberous toy we all had so much fun with as kids. In other words, it's adorable. And in October of 20008 El Niño was the first to win it.
|THIS IS NOW Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe|
Sergio seems to have saved his kisses for girlfriend, Nicole Horrex, however there's little doubt that the hugely talented player was very pleased to be reunited with the whimsical Castello Masters mascot.
If you like Sergio you may enjoy these posts:Much Maligned Mr. Garcia Wins the Players and Praise
Golf Gossip: Sexy Sergio Flying Solo at Valhalla
The Saturday Sergio Sat on the Sidelines
Sergio Garcia - Masters '09 Status: It's Complicated
Sergio Garcia - A Tempestuous Golfer Explained
Sergio Garcia's Milestone Birthday Signals Maturity
Sergio Garcia's Haircut Gets Mixed Reviews
Masters Tradition: My Pic is Sergio Garcia (video)