The class of Sergio Garcia was never in doubt. But following his dominating win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week, that same question is bound to be raised again: when will he finally win a major championship?
The simple answer is: if he plays the way he did at the Majlis course for the four days, that is very much within the realms of possibility.
Garcia was simply imperious at the tournament. He hardly put a step wrong, and if he made mistakes, he quickly rectified it. His ball-striking was brilliant, evident by the fact that he led the greens in regulations stat, and his famous short game was on song. The Spaniard was the complete package.
When you have won so many tournaments, you also cannot be accused of not being strong mentally. Garcia, as well know and love, is an emotional person, but when it comes to golf, he is not weak-hearted.
A lot of things go into winning a major championship. Luck and timing plays a huge role, unless you happen to be as blessed with talent as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy. Obviously, Garcia has also been a little unlucky that he is playing in the era of the last two mentioned.
But Garcia is in a happy zone right now outside the golf course, and that is bound to show on his performance inside the ropes.
Golf swing and form are dependent on so many different things that it is hard to keep everything intact over a protracted period of time. Hopefully, Garcia has found the secret of keeping it together for the foreseeable future.
Stenson would be disappointed on not picking up his second Dubai Desert Classic trophy, but his early-season form is pleasing.
For the past few years, he seemed to struggling in the Desert Swing a bit, but that was definitely not the case this year as he finished inside the top-10 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and runner-up here now.
One of the biggest success stories of the week, undoubtedly, was the 17-year-old Dubai-based amateur Rayhan Thomas.
He qualified for the tournament by merit as the Amateur Order of Merit winner of the MENA Golf Tour, and cemented his place as the poster boy of the Tour by becoming only the second UAE-based amateur to make the cut.
There were three phases in the tournament when his world-class potential stood out.
The first when he showed absolutely no nerves in his opening round four-under par 68. The second was when he made played his first three holes of second round in par in howling wind conditions. And the third when he made at least three crunch putts on the back nine on Saturday to ensure he made the cut after a terrible start to his remaining second-round holes.
The home-grown star has given the MENA Tour, and the UAE golf fans a lot to cheer, and he is surely the one to watch for in the future.
Also deserving of applause during the week was the superb work by the maintenance staff of Emirates Golf Club.
Following the high winds that forced suspension of play on Friday, that uprooted trees and blew tonnes of debris on to the greens and fairways, Craig Haldane and his team somehow managed to work through the night and when play resumed on Saturday, the course looked spick and span.
With the tournament, another successful Desert Swing has come to an end. Here’s looking forward to the next year.