Sergio Garcia hit a new low yesterday when he crashed out of the Madrid Masters at the halfway stage – his first missed cut on European soil for nearly six years.
Down from second to 32nd in the world and without a top-three finish since November 2008, Garcia managed only a one-over-par total while playing partner Luke Donald reached 12 under at the Real Sociedad course.
"Nobody likes to miss a cut, in front of your home crowd even more,'' said the 30-year-old, who was unable to recover from hitting his second shot of the day into water and taking a double bogey seven. "It's disappointing, but it is what it is. I'm just not playing well enough – it's as simple as that.
"It's the way it is at the moment. I've just got to realise it and hopefully it will turn around. It's just a matter of seeing how long it will take. We've all been through stretches, but it's hard because when you know your potential and you feel you can't achieve it, it's difficult.''
Since turning professional in 1999 Garcia has only ever missed two cuts in Europe. Both came in The Open – at Carnoustie three months after he left the amateur ranks and then at Troon in 2004.
His next start is the US Open at Pebble Beach in three weeks, but when asked if that spectacular stage might inspire him he replied: "Hopefully – but I can't see the future.''
Garcia went into this week's event saying that if Colin Montgomerie came to him with the offer of a Ryder Cup wildcard he would decline it believing there were three better picks. Qualifying does not finish until the end of August, however, so things may be very different then.
He has been an ever-present since becoming the Ryder Cup's youngest-ever player 11 years ago and in two of those matches he had a perfect four wins out of four partnering Donald in foursomes.
The Englishman said: "I have no doubt he will be back. He's working hard with Pete Cowen [Lee Westwood's coach] and his father and he seems more positive.
"It would seem strange to be at a Ryder Cup without Sergio. He has so much passion and the Ryder Cup can spur you on. I would love to have him there, but if he does not feel he can help I understand that view too.''
Garcia has not even had a top-20 strokeplay finish since January, but reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play before losing to Ian Poulter in Tucson three months ago.