Can you remember how you marked your 40th birthday? Perhaps you just let it quietly slip by, grateful for the fact that you had managed to negotiate another year on this perilous, birling clump of space rock we call planet Earth without coming to any form of grief.

Or maybe you commemorated the milestone by doing what you did on the day you were actually born; scream and cry yourself silly.

For Sergio Garcia, the occasion of reaching this particular landmark in life was greeted with a sense of shrugging nonchalance.

“I’ve never really been big on like birthday celebrations or anything like that,” said the Spaniard who makes his first outing as a newly-turned 40-year-old in Abu Dhabi this week.

“We do celebrate them but, to me, 40 is just one after 39," he added with a wonderful appreciation of the numerical process.

Garcia will forever be “El Nino” – The Child – even if the passing years have led to a little thinning on top and the inevitable line here and furrow there. You can beat Old Man Par now and then but you’ll never beat Father Time.

The National:

At 40, though, Garcia still displays that boyish exuberance which endears him to many but has others often wondering when he will grow up.

A Masters win, a marriage and the onset of fatherhood all seemed to point to a more mature, mellow Garcia.

But then he embarked on an epic tantrum that would have got him kicked out of the nursery during last year’s Saudi International, (inset), when he damaged a series of greens with a prolonged display of petulance which led to a humiliating disqualification and a grovelling apology.

It was another chapter in the eclectic Garcia story.

Of course, you would have had to have had a heart made out of an industrial rivet, encased in granite and sealed with cement not to have felt a tad of emotion in the aftermath of Garcia’s Masters moment in 2017 when he won his first major title at the 74th attempt.

Watching the Spaniard in the majors down the years had produced such a topsy-turvy, rollercoaster of sensations he could have been included in the family ticket package at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The National:

If he wasn’t skipping gleefully down the fairway on the final day of the 1999 PGA Championship as a 19-year-old while harrying Tiger Woods all the way en route to a second place finish, then he was missing a little putt to win The Open at Carnoustie in 2007.

And then there was his snivelling, resigned confession that he felt he simply didn’t have what it takes to win a major in a career that, prior to his win, featured 22 top-10 finishes across the grand slam events.

Forget the Green Jacket. You feared it was a straitjacket Garcia required.

Having finally chiselled the monkey off his back, Garcia heads into his fifth decade content with a resume that has ticked plenty of significant boxes. He seems pretty content with his lot.

“Before I won the Masters, I felt like I’d had a great career,” said Garcia, who also became Europe’s all-time leading points scorer in the Ryder Cup.

The National:

“I’ve been fortunate that physically I’ve been good throughout my whole career, so that gives me opportunities to play a lot more Majors, like I have done for all these years.

“But it’s not like do-or-die. If we get the second or third or whatever, it will be great, but if it doesn’t, I’m happy with everything that’s gone on in my life.”

THE incident in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, was certainly not one of Garcia’s finest moments during a tournament that was already under a huge amount of scrutiny on moral grounds.

It was hardly his first offence, of course. The shame in Saudi still lingers but he will get the chance to make amends when he returns to the Kingdom on European Tour duty at the end of the month.

“I feel terrible about what happened last year,” said the world No.41.

“You know, the easy thing would have been for me to hide and never come back there. But I want to show my respect to them. I want to show the true Sergio.”

Life begins at 40, so they say. Perhaps El Nino is finally ready to grow up after all?