Sergio Garcia offered to pay fines and play in DP World Tour events in a pitch to play on the European team for the upcoming Ryder Cup, according to a story published Sunday by the Telegraph.
But the all-time leader in Ryder Cup points was eventually turned down, according to the story written by James Corrigan, because, in May, Garcia had resigned his tour membership and is not eligible to return until next year. The story cited a source close to the DP World Tour — and you can read it in full here.
According to the source, Garcia would pay a £100,000 fine for playing for LIV Golf last year, along with any outstanding fines, which were estimated at £700,000. The source also said that Garcia would play in any required DP World Tour events, unless they conflicted with LIV tournaments.
“But it was explained that, despite the ongoing peace talks, as he had resigned his membership, he is not eligible to join until next year,” the source told Corrigan. “It was all a bit bizarre as that was made clear all along.”
And on Labor Day, Garcia was not among captain Luke Donald’s six picks for the 12-man team that will play the U.S. next week in Italy. It concludes a lengthy sequence, which appeared perhaps dead when Garcia resigned his DP World Tour membership in May, following a season’s worth of play with LIV.
At a LIV event later in May, Garcia revealed that he had talked to Donald, and that conversation played a part in his decision to turn in his DP World Tour card.
“Luke obviously is a good friend,” Garcia said, “but he made it — I wanted him to be sincere and tell me the truth, and he pretty much told me that I had no chance. Obviously that made my decision a little bit easier.
“It was sad because I felt like not only because of my history but the way I’ve been playing, that I probably could have a chance, but it didn’t sound like it, so that’s what it is.”
A reporter then asked Garcia this:
“Obviously you’re disappointed by the fact that you spent I don’t know how many years playing Ryder Cup, how much you committed to Ryder Cup, how much you committed to the DP World Tour, and yet this is how you get treated in the end? How do you feel about that?”
“Well, I mean, it’s not ideal,” Garcia said, “but at the end of the day, I think we all make the decisions that we think is best for us. I made what I thought were the best decisions for me and my family and my game, and they’re making what they think are their best decisions. I would think so.
“I’m not going to hold them responsible for it or anything like that. I’m not going to — that’s what they want to do, it’s fine, then I’m going to do what I think is best for me. It’s as simple as that.”
Still, Donald said he called Garcia recently to say he hadn’t made the team, revealing that to the Associated Press’ Andrew Dampf on Monday after the European team practiced at Marco Simone, the Ryder Cup host. Donald told Dampf that Garcia was “was more than supportive.”
Of course, the story is not completely over. There are future Ryder Cups. The relationship among the DP World Tour and LIV Golf could also be softened after the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, LIV’s backer, announced in June that they are potentially teaming up.
On Wednesday, ahead of this week’s BMW PGA Championship, Jon Rahm had some thoughts. Garcia’s fellow Spaniard was asked about Garcia one day potentially being a vice-captain.
“I think it would be really stupid of anybody not to lean on Sergio García’s experience in the Ryder Cup,” Rahm said. “I mean, he is the best player Europe has ever had, won the most points and has shown it time and time again. If he were able to be a vice captain, I absolutely would lean on him. Same as we are going to lean on Ollie [Jose Maria Olazabal] this coming Ryder Cup, right.
“When it comes to the game and all those players being able to be back, it’s been a difficult time. Obviously things have changed a little bit. I wouldn’t know how to answer because we are going to have to see if it’s possible or not, right.
“I would like to see it, but unfortunately we’ve seen some of those players give up their European Tour status, where that’s no longer a possibility. So I would like to see, it but we don’t know what the future holds, right. I think with this agreement or this possible union between the PGA Tour, DP World and PIF might change things a little bit.
“So until then, it’s hard to really give you an answer.”
Editor’s note: To read the complete story in the Telegraph, please click here.