All change for Garcia

13 March 2018 05:52:09 EST

With less than a month to go until his defence of the Masters at Augusta National, Sergio Garcia is taking time out to complete a remarkable 12 months by becoming a father for the first time.

Last April the Spaniard claimed his first major championship victory after a final round stand-off with Justin Rose, and wearing the green jacket has prompted a year of highs.

He has added two more wins, at home in Spain and earlier this year in Singapore, married long-term girlfriend Angela Akins, and now they await the birth of their first child on Sunday.

"Time for a week off," he said after posting a final-round 65 to finish fourth at last week's Valspar Championship. "We're having our little girl on Sunday. If everything goes well I'll be able to play the WGC World Match Play. If not, I'll be with my wife and my little girl."

Despite a tough start to his week at Innisbrook, he found something on the last day which will fuel his final charge towards the return to Augusta.

"I played nicely all week," Garcia added. "Unfortunately, I didn't really get anything out of my rounds the first three days and then round four could have been a really, really special round. I probably wasted at least three shots on the front-nine with a three-putt and a couple of short misses for birdies."

With a win and two top tens already this season, Garcia's results are actually better than they were at this time last year.

If new fatherhood and the demands of being the defending champion are not too distracting he will hope to add to his tally of five top-ten finishes at Augusta.

Garcia is 28/1 to win this year's Masters and 20/1 to claim a first Claret Jug in July's Open Championship.

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