SERGIO Garcia’s outstanding contribution to golf has earned him one of Spain’s highest sporting honours.

DISTINCIONES DE LA REAL ORDEN DEL MÉRITO DEPORTIVO 2014,The five-time Ryder Cup winner was awarded the Real Orden del Merito Deportivo gold medal by Spain’s minister of education, sport and culture in recognition of his distinguished service to sport.

Garcia picked up his award along with former cycling star Alejandro Valverde.

“As a sportsmen there are moments that fill you with pride,” he said.

One is to represent your country all over the world. Another is to be able to receive the gold medal of the Real Orden del Merito.

“When I went up on stage lots of my great sporting highlights came to mind, but also the hard work required to get here.”

Garcia, 35, has racked up eight wins on the PGA circuit and 11 on the European Tour during a distinguished pro career.

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