Garcia looks set to join Saudi-breakaway tour after angry outburst
Sergio Garcia looks set to join Saudi-breakaway tour after microphones caught the Spaniard moaning: ‘I can’t wait to leave this tour’ following an incorrect penalty drop
- Sergio Garcia seems to have let slip that he may be joining the Saudi-backed tour
- The Spaniard’s anger boiled over after a penalty drop which was incorrect
- He said: ‘A couple of more weeks and I won’t have to deal with you any more’
- A representative of the Spaniard confirmed that Garcia had asked for a release to compete at the first LIV Golf Invitational event next month
Sergio Garcia appears to have let slip that he will join the Saudi-backed rival golf circuit after his anger over what was later deemed an incorrect ruling was caught on camera.
After pulling his tee shot into a hazard on TPC Potomac’s par-five 10th hole in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Garcia was able to find his ball after a search lasting several minutes.
However, he was informed by a PGA Tour rules official that he had exceeded the three-minute time limit and therefore the ball was treated as lost.
Sergio Garcia appears to have let slip that he will join the Saudi-backed rival golf circuit
The Spaniard was able to find his ball after a search but the ball was then treated as lost
The Ryder Cup star went on to make par on the hole following a penalty drop, but not before suggesting that his time on the PGA Tour is coming to an end.
‘I can’t wait to leave this tour. I can’t wait to get out of here, my friend,’ Garcia said.
‘A couple of more weeks and I won’t have to deal with you any more.’
The first LIV Golf Invitational event, which has a prize fund of 25million, will be held from June 9-11 at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.
Garcia declined to speak to the media after completing an opening 67, but the New York Post reported that a representative of the Spaniard confirmed that Garcia had asked for a release to compete at Centurion.
Inaugural event of the Saudi rebel golf series is due to take place at Centurion Club, St Albans
It comes after Lee Westwood offered a passionate rebuttal to accusations of disloyalty on Wednesday after confirming his intention to play in the inaugural Saudi-backed LIV Series event.
Breaking his silence on the subject, the 49-year-old claimed that he was just ‘one of many’ players who have asked for releases from the DP World Tour – formerly the European Tour – to compete in the controversial renegade tournament.
‘I think if I said to some of the mates I grew up playing with in Worksop that I have the opportunity to play in a 48-man tournament offering $25m, they’d take me to one side and say: “What exactly is there to think about?” commented Westwood. ‘
‘This is my job. I do this for money. It’s not the only reason for doing it. But if anyone comes along and offers us the chance of a pay rise, you have to seriously consider it.’
Westwood hinted that he will also play in the other seven events scheduled worldwide by Saudi frontman Greg Norman, with five of them taking place in America. It would lead to a ban from the PGA Tour but, at his time of life, it seems clear that is something Westwood can live with.
Lee Westwood has requested a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational Series
‘I’ve never been driven by playing on the PGA Tour like a lot of the guys,’ he said. ‘Even when I won over there in 1998, I didn’t take up my card. My goal has always been to support the European Tour and to dip in and out over there. It’s been their kind of goal to get me to play on the PGA Tour.’
How does he feel over the threat that playing in the Saudi events would preclude him from ever being Europe’s Ryder Cup captain?
‘That’s for somebody else to decide, isn’t it?’ he said.
‘I’ve supported the European Tour for the last 29 years. The first time I ever played in Saudi Arabia it was an event on the European Tour, so they have no problem where the money has come from.
Garcia declined to speak to the media after completing an opening 67 in Maryland
‘All the reports I’ve read from LIV golf say they just want to stand side by side, they’re not going up against any really massive events on the European Tour. People always have a problem with change but I believe it shakes things up and keeps everyone on their toes.’
To compound Garcia’s anger, the PGA Tour later said that the referee on the 10th hole had not taken into consideration the time taken by Garcia in crossing the creek to get to the area where his ball was thought to be.
However, the ball would still have been deemed unplayable in waist-high rough and because Garcia had already signed his scorecard and the round was completed, his score on the 10th hole did not change.
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