Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia is a Swansea City fan
RYDER Cup hero Sergio Garcia pitched up at Swansea City's training ground yesterday and declared: "I'm a Swans fan."
Garcia watched Michael Laudrup's men practise and is set to be in the stands at the Liberty for Saturday's Premier League clash with Reading.
The Spanish superstar won two crucial points for Europe in Chicago over the weekend as they completed the most remarkable comeback in Ryder Cup history.
He then jumped on a plane to Wales to see his sister — who is the partner of recent Swansea signing Pablo Hernandez.
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"We came straight from the Ryder Cup to Swansea," Garcia told the Evening Post.
"Pablo is my sister's boyfriend so I came in with my parents to see them.
"We wanted to check the place out a little bit and to see my little nephew as well.
"It's my first time in Swansea, but I am a big football fan and obviously I'm a Swansea City fan now that Pablo is playing here."
A keen footballer himself, Garcia is well-known for being a Real Madrid supporter.
But he has been keeping an eye on Swansea since Hernandez completed a £5.55 million switch to SA1 in August — and plans to watch this weekend's key clash with Reading.
"I follow the Spanish league more, but I do watch some English football," Garcia added.
"I saw Swansea play against Everton a couple of weeks ago — I was in Atlanta but I was able to watch the game.
"I have to do some things in Switzerland and Germany this week, but I hope to fly back in on Saturday morning to see the game against Reading."
Garcia expects to witness some stylish football given that Swansea are managed by Laudrup, a five-time La Liga winner in his playing days.
"We know how Michael Laudrup likes to play — he is that kind of coach," added Garcia, who is currently ranked the 19th best golfer on the planet.
"He did it in Spain with Getafe and Mallorca. I think he is a great coach and hopefully it works out great for him over here."
Garcia admitted to feeling a little weary en route to Swansea in the wake of European celebrations in the United States.
Jose Maria Olazabal's team looked doomed when they trailed 10-4 to the Americans on Saturday afternoon.
But fourball wins for Garcia and Luke Donald — over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker — and then for Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy gave Europe a sniff of a chance at 10-6 going into the singles.
Then came the most extraordinary final day ever seen in the Ryder Cup, Europe taking eight and a half of the 12 points on offer to clinch the trophy.
Garcia, who beat Jim Furyk at the 18th in their singles match, said: "It was quite amazing for us to come back from a four-point deficit on Sunday playing on US soil and in a tough town where the fans were very loud and very rowdy.
"To tell you the truth, after what happened on Saturday afternoon when we won the last two matches, we felt we had a chance.
"We got some good momentum there and the atmosphere in the team room changed.
"Winning those two big matches kind of changed our thinking.
"We knew we had to play extremely well and that everything had to go our way, but we knew we had a chance."
Europe's players partied long into Sunday night, but Garcia was in Swansea by Monday evening.
"We didn't sleep that much on Sunday, but I slept pretty much the whole way over on the plane," he added.
"It was worth it, because what happened was one of those things that you have to celebrate."