Sergio Garcia, the dashing Spaniard who somehow managed to become 37 years old before winning his first major championship, will make the most of his new accomplishment. With a dramatic playoff victory over Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose at Augusta National, Garcia became the 2017 Masters Champion. It resulted in a green jacket that most golf fans thought Garcia would have been fitted for much sooner — after the way he burst onto the world golf scene as a precocious 19-year-old contender at Medina back in 1999. Garcia’s great belated Masters victory was made even greater by the countless and excruciatingly close brushes with major victories he’s had in the years since — and by the fact that he won on what would have been his hero Seve Ballesteros‘ 60th birthday.
Garcia has enjoyed a hugely successful career despite his drought in majors, being one of the most popular and recognizable golfers on the planet. He’s earned a fortune a dozen times over, been everywhere and tasted most of what the good life has to offer. The latter will come in handy when it’s his turn — finally — to host the Champions Dinner at Augusta next year, a rich tradition wherein the reigning champ chooses the menu. Garcia will bring all his worldliness, and the traditions of home, to the players’ palates. Spain’s Mediterranean-influenced cuisine is renowned throughout the world and Garcia — something of a gourmand — will relish the role of menu-chooser like few other golfers have. Phil Mickelson selected Spanish dishes including paella for the 2011 Champions Dinner to honor Ballesteros, who was then near his end. Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal (another of Garcia’s heroes) served paella and tapas in 1995. Expect Garcia to make a big Spanish culinary statement in 2018.
Early odds have Garcia going with:
Albondigas (Spanish meatballs)
Pulpo A La Gallega (Octopus!)
Oh, and the wine!