ERIN, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Every year the winner of the Masters enters the U.S. Open as the only golfer with a chance to complete a calendar-year grand slam and Sergio Garcia took his turn facing the prospect at Erin Hill on Tuesday.
The calendar-year slam of golf’s major championships has not been achieved for 87 years, since Bobby Jones swept the top events of his day by winning the 1930 U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur.
Tiger Woods accomplished the next best thing, by holding all four of the major titles at once after claiming the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000 and capping off the monopoly by adding the 2001 Masters to complete a ‘Tiger Slam.’
The year’s second major begins on Thursday.
“I guess the guy that wins the Masters every year has the potential of doing that. It is something nice to have the possibility of doing, but we all know how difficult it is,” the Spaniard told reporters.
“I just want to go one little tournament at a time and give my best this week and hopefully by Sunday night we can keep having that talk.”
Garcia, 37, won his maiden major in Augusta in April in a playoff against England’s Justin Rose and believes he should have many more chances to add to his list of majors.
”That’s the goal and that’s where we want to go,“ he said. ”I still feel in good shape and my game feels nice. I‘m still working hard on it.
“I definitely hope that I can keep playing well and win many, many more, now that we have our first one. But time will tell us.”
Garcia said he has not lost the appetite for more despite satisfying a quest that had seemed a sure thing back when, at the age of 19, he pressed a 23-year-old Woods down the final-round stretch at Medinah to finish runner-up at the 1999 PGA Championship.
”Obviously we’ve achieved something that we’ve been trying for for so long,“ the Spaniard said. ”And it’s easy to kind of take a deep breath and relax.
”(But) I‘m still working on my game as much as I can and as hard as possible.
“I want to keep consistent, keep playing well, keep giving myself chances at winning majors and being in Ryder Cups.”
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Andrew Both