Sergio Garcia had doubts over whether he would make Europe's Ryder Cup team, but does not believe he has to prove anything at Le Golf National given his stellar record in an event he fell "head over heels" in love with 23 years ago.
So often a key figure in European triumphs, Garcia has been particularly impressive in fourball and foursomes play, winning 16 and losing only six of his 29 matches in those formats.
However, a hugely underwhelming 2018 season left him relying on a captain's pick from Thomas Bjorn and the Spaniard was not certain he would get the nod.
"When things don't go exactly as you plan, or as you want it, and you are playing a lot in the summer and you keep missing cuts by one, it feels like it's kind of getting a little further away," said Garcia.
Asked if he felt the need to prove a point to those who may have questioned his selection, Garcia replied: "I don't think so. I think that I've proved myself over and over, and the only thing I can do out there is when I get called upon playing, just do my best, do what I do, do what I've always done here at Ryder Cups, and that's everything."
Rory McIlroy described Garcia as the "heartbeat" of the team on Wednesday and the latter agrees he has a special role within the European set-up.
"I think I do, yes. I think I do from experience, from the way I am, from the way I enjoy team events, the way I enjoy the Ryder Cup," he explained.
"To be honest, I think that is probably one of the reasons why the vice-captains and the captain decided to have me on the team, not only for what I can bring on the golf course, but what I can bring outside.
"What I'm going to do is just do what I do best and try to make sure that everyone feels good, comfortable, happy, enjoying themselves, and if we can do that, then it's much easier for everyone to play their best game.
"The way I've always felt, I like to have someone around me. That's one of the reasons why I've enjoyed foursomes and fourballs because I feel like it's nice to have someone that you can put your arm around.
"Golf is such a lonely game throughout the whole year. Sometimes it's nice to have a friend next to you that is cheering for you, and not only one, but another 10 behind that are doing the same thing."
Garcia first attended the Ryder Cup in 1995 at Oak Hill, when he played in junior exhibition matches and was also able to watch his idol Seve Ballesteros as Europe claimed a dramatic victory in the main event.
He added: "I [already] loved the Ryder Cup, but '95 is really the Ryder Cup that made me really fall head over heels in love with it. I remember being there. I remember seeing the atmosphere.
"I think I was only 15, I went to the international pavilion and seeing people singing and the energy that was around was amazing."
15 de octubre 2018
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