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Sergio Garcia in jeopardy of missing U.S. Open


Once the main rival to Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia is facing qualification issues for the 2011 U.S. Open.

Garcia was considered a huge threat to Woods in the past, but he has slipped out of the realm of elite golfers. Now, it seems that Garcia may not even qualify for the U.S. Open in June, something that was unheard of a long time ago.

Garcia is currently ranked 76th, and only the top 50 qualify for the U.S. Open. Garcia has no major championships to help him automatically qualify, which means he might have to qualify through the sectional tournaments. Garcia is set to participate in a couple of tournaments prior to the U.S. Open, including the Players Championship. He will have his opportunities to qualify, but the mountain his high. Garcia will need to perform well to get to the tournament. He could also hope for an exemption, but that doesn't seem very likely.

Garcia has never quite found the popularity he could have.

Even at the height of his game, fans never fully embraced him. A lot of that had to do with his slow play, which often aggravated people who watched him. Garcia is a fine golfer, but with no major championships on his resume, it will be hard for people to consider him anything more than a good golfer who had some decent years. Garcia has finished in the top 10 at a major 15 times, including all four majors in 2002. But without a win, people aren't going to remember that. Garcia, who has played in 46 straight majors, now faces the prospect of winding up on the bubble for qualifying each time.;u=31592;u=25089;u=12281

Garcia's biggest chance for a statement is at the Players Championship. He won that event in 2008, his last victory at a PGA event. If Garcia can play well there, he might land himself a spot in the U.S. Open.

More importantly, he might show people that he is still a real threat out there.