PCA 2012: Sergio Garcia, from PGA to PCA

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgIn 2002, during a practice round for the Masters at Augusta, Sergio Garcia did something spectacular. Renowned for his powerful drives, he sent his tee shot on the notorious par 5, 575-yard second hole a full 322 yards straight down the middle. His second shot, with a 2-iron, was smacked straight and true for 253 yards, flying through the air, bouncing on the hallowed turf, and rolling straight across the green and into the hole. It was an albatross, three under par for the hole, and Garcia was one of only a few golfers to have ever achieved it at Augusta.

That moment summed up the golfing prowess of a man from Spain who won the affection of the sporting world. He had raw power, aggression, and fearlessness. In his career he won millions from the PGA and European tours, and represented Europe proudly five times in the Ryder Cup. Three of those were victories (with apologies to US readers) showing just how influential a player he was.

Today is Garcia's birthday, making him 32 years old and meaning he still has years left in the game if he so wished. But today he is not out on the fairways, not on the practice putting green, and not on the driving range. He's competing in the Bahamas for a $2 million poker prize.

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Sergio Garcia

PokerStars player Garcia is no stranger to poker. He's played on the Estrellas Poker Tour a number of times, but this is his biggest stage yet. After spending years at the top of his own sport--he spent most of 2000-2009 in the top ten Official World Golf Rankings, peaking at number two--he's the first to admit he has a long way to go to master poker.

That said, he's here on Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, and he has around 100,000 chips, which suggests he may well cash. The big $2 million prize may be too elusive with 200 players still left, but he's having fun trying.

Seated next to him is Erik Cajelais, the fearsome-looking player from the Canada who has $2.2million in tournament winnings.

If anyone who knew nothing about either game was asked, do you think they could spot which was the pro poker player, and which was the pro golfer?

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