But Garcia, who finally won his first major this season at the Masters, got a bit of redemption on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass during Thursday's first round with an incredible hole-in-one.
The ride's most memorable stop came last month in Madrid, where he was invited - clad in his green jacket - to participate in the ceremonial kickoff for the "El Clasico" match between Spanish rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in front of 90,000 fans chanting his name.
Rory McIlroy watched the finish on the television in his rented home down the road from Augusta National and screamed for Garcia. McIlroy wrapped him in a giant bear hug on April 21 when Garcia arrived for McIlroy's wedding, and he wasn't his only fellow pro to do so.
Garcia admitted the moment was as nerve-wracking as any high-pressure putt he has ever faced. The bottom of his image came when he said, "I'm not good enough".
"I think the way I reacted to everything that was happening to me, I think that's one of the most important things to me", he said. He is a major champion.
"I'm just trying to gain some confidence, get back to working on the right things, doing the right things off the course that will hopefully produce the results on the course", Day added. "I'm excited, I'm not going to lie to you. I'm sure a lot of things about that (Masters) week will go through my mind and stuff and it's a great thing to have happen".
Now 37, Garcia's breakthrough has not changed his attitude about having to keep improving his game.
Garcia long carried the unenviable crown of Best Player Never to Win a Major.
"I've known Sergio for a while now - everyone in this room has known how hard or how close he has been to winning majors, " Jason Day said. I don't know ... like a little branch or something on him.
One can not spell perseverance without "Seve" and it added to the epic aspect of Garcia's triumph that it came on what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, the Spanish legend who died of brain cancer in 2011 at age 54.
The Spaniard returned from a four-week layoff after the biggest win of his career (81st Masters). It's fantastic what a single Sunday in Augusta can do for a man. Garcia often has played golf's dastardly villain, raising ire with his sometimes petulant and childish behavior, swinging his fists at the golf gods.
"It is an incredible thing to be invited to kick off El Clasico and it was one of the most wonderful experiences I've had".
You know, the infamous, knee-buckling, good-luck-not-thinking-about-the-water "island green"? "He was just ... like I said before, so many unbelievable reactions from other players".
"They've been so happy for me to get my first major and win the Masters".