Golf

The Masters Will Be Missing a Former Champion This Year Thanks to COVID-19

The 2020 Masters is finally set to tee off this weekend after six long months of delay, but this year’s tournament will sadly be without a familiar face with a green jacket in his closet.

Sergio Garcia, who won The Masters in 2017 for his first career major championship, announced he will be missing the tournament this year due to a positive COVID-19 test. The 2020 Masters won’t be the same without one of its most recent champions.

Sergio Garcia won The Masters in 2017

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Sergio Garcia has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour for over two decades. Before 2017, the Spaniard had nine PGA Tour victories to his name, but a major championship win still eluded him.

Garcia finally got the monkey off his back at Augusta National Golf Club three years ago. He defeated Justin Rose in a playoff with a birdie on 18 to seal his first-ever major. It was the most emotional win of his lengthy career.

Fast forward to 2020, and Garcia hadn’t missed a major championship start in 21 years. That’s about to change thanks to the harsh reality of COVID-19.

Garcia withdraws from the 2020 Masters

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Just three days away from the start of the best major of the year, Garcia got some devastating news. He announced on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday after missing the cut at the Vivint Houston Open.

Garcia was forced to withdraw from The Masters this weekend.

“On Saturday night after driving back from the Houston Open, I started feeling a bit of a sore throat and a cough,” Garcia wrote in a Twitter post on Monday morning. “The symptoms stayed with me on Sunday morning so I decided to get tested for COVID-19 and so did my wife Angela. Thankfully she tested negative, but I didn’t. After 21 years of not missing a Major Championship, I will sadly miss @themasters this week. The important thing is that my family and I are feeling good. We’ll come back stronger and give the green jacket a go next April.”

Garcia added a picture of himself in the green jacket kissing the Masters trophy on that glorious day three years ago. The former champion must be devastated about missing the tournament this year.

Garcia had some momentum heading into The Masters

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At 40 years of age, Garcia wouldn’t have been one of the favorites to win the green jacket again in 2020, but he was actually playing some solid golf heading into this weekend.

Garcia won the Sanderson Farms Championship in early October for his first victory since the 2017 Masters. He did miss the cut last weekend at the Vivint Houston Open, but he recorded 11 rounds of par or better in his previous 12 tries before that.

Garcia was playing his best golf since early in 2019 heading into the 2020 Masters. And on those hallowed grounds, anything can happen, especially for a former champion.

Augusta National will be missing an inspiring part of its storied history this weekend without Sergio Garcia in the field. Get well soon.

All stats courtesy of PGA Tour