All 12 European Ryder Cup heroes reunited for first time since Medinah

Sergio Garcia at the DP World Tour Championship
Getty Images
Sergio Garcia, after a seven-week gap to deal with an eye problem, is now trying to gear himself up for next season with a strong showing at the DP World Tour Championship.
Mark Garrod
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | 12:34 p.m.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- For the first time since that memorable week in Chicago, Europe's Ryder Cup heroes are all back together in Dubai this week.

Eleven of the 12 were in China last month, but now Sergio Garcia plays his first tournament since Medinah following eye surgery.

"I'm a bit rusty, but it's good to be back," said the Spaniard. "I found out in July I had an astigmatism. I had a little bit of a problem in one eye, but I didn't know I had it until the doctor showed me.

"I started wearing contacts and could tell the difference, but I was very uncomfortable with them and so didn't wear them during the Ryder Cup," he explained. "That's why I got the surgery done and it only took about five minutes, so I'm glad I did."

Even with his sight not perfect, the 32-year-old former world No. 2 played his part as Jose Maria Olazabal's side pulled off the greatest comeback by an away side in the history of the competition.

America led 10-4 when Garcia and Luke Donald won their Saturday afternoon four-ball against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. And after Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy -- Poulter mainly -- had narrowed the deficit to four points, Europe came out the following day and grabbed a stunning one-point victory.

Garcia's win over Jim Furyk, who bogeyed the last two holes, was when it really started to look as though they could do it -- and it was into his arms that Martin Kaymer ran and jumped after sinking the decisive putt.

After a seven-week gap, Garcia is now trying to gear himself up for next season by also playing the Thailand Championship and the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia before Christmas.

At 48th on the European Tour money list, he is one of the early starters in Thursday's first round at the circuit's season-ending DP World Tour Championship. It is limited to the top 60 on the standings, but the field is only 57-strong as Thomas Bjorn and Retief Goosen are out injured and Ross Fisher is preparing for the PGA Tour qualifying school.

At the second stage last week, Fisher, a member of the victorious 2010 Ryder Cup side, finished in a tie for 13th at Plantation Preserve in Florida and made it through with a stroke to spare along with fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher to whom he is not related. Ross Fisher decided to give it a go despite finishing only 95th in Europe this year and now stands six rounds away from earning a Tour card in the States.

Also in Florida, former Ryder Cup player Robert Karlsson bounced back from failing to keep his card this season by winning the second stage at Brooksville, while France's Romain Wattel is another still in with a chance after coming through a qualifier in California with nothing to spare.

Karlsson's fellow countryman Alex Noren went to Humble, Texas, to try his luck. And after making it into the final stage right on the limit, he has flown to Dubai before returning to the States next week.