Sergio Garcia withdrew from the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, but failed to give officials a reason for his withdrawal; Spaniard is one event short of being eligible for selection for the Ryder Cup
By Amar Mehta
Last Updated: 12/10/22 3:19pm
Sergio Garcia has been fined for withdrawing from the BMW PGA Championship, as his Ryder Cup career looks set for an anticlimatic end.
The 42-year-old withdrew from the DP World Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth in September following an opening 76, but didn’t give officials a reason and was seen in social media posts attending a college American football game in Texas two days later.
Players can withdraw from events for emergency reasons or medical circumstances, but Garcia failed to provide written evidence of any medical reason within the 21-day period and has subsequently been fined an undisclosed amount.
The BMW PGA Championship counts as one of the events Garcia needs to play to remain a DP World Tour member, but the former Masters champion remained one short of the required four this season.
The Spaniard failed to enter next week’s Mallorca Golf Open, and although he could receive an invitation to that event or the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November, that appears unlikely.
Only DP World Tour members can be selected for the Ryder Cup, meaning that the contest’s record points scorer could have made his last appearance for Team Europe.
His singles win over Rickie Fowler in 2018 made him the top points scorer in Ryder Cup history with 25.5, and he won three more alongside Jon Rahm in the 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits last year.
Rahm, who is from Spain, made it clear he would like to partner with Garcia again, despite the latter’s defection to LIV Golf.
Players who have joined the Saudi-back breakaway could be banned from the DP World Tour following a court hearing in February.
Rahm questions ‘double standard’
During the BMW PGA Championship, Rahm questioned why some LIV golfers were given spots in the tournaments when players who had “dedicated their whole lives” to the European tour missed out.
He said: “I do think there is a certain double standard when it comes to the relationship LIV has with the European and PGA Tour. The PGA Tour can’t survive without some of the biggest stars cause there is so many big names coming in.
Jon Rahm has questioned why some LIV golfers have been granted spots at the BMW PGA Championship when players who he feels have ‘dedicated’ themselves to the DP World Tour have missed out.
“European tour, some of those big names, you still may need. There are some players in LIV golf who have dedicated their entire life to European Tour in precisely this event.
“I don’t disagree with that, what I do disagree with is some of the names that have never expressed any support for the European tour or the event, to be giving those players the opportunity and take it from people that have dedicated themselves to the European tour, I think it’s wrong.
“It is a little bit more personal for me, the first player out on the list is a Spanish player, who has played 20 European tour events this year.
“Then you have a few guys, who, the only reason they are here is for world ranking points, hoping they can finish in the top 50 to play in certain majors.”
Shane Lowry says it is difficult to put into words what his victory at the BMW PGA Championship means to him.
Lowry hits out at LIV Golf tour
Shane Lowry was the eventual winner in Wentworth, edging out Rory McIlroy by one shot.
After winning the tournament, Lowry labelled his victory as “one for the good guys”, adding: “I made no secret how I feel about the whole thing. I wanted to win for myself first and foremost, but for everyone that has stayed loyal to this [DP World] Tour, I really feel this is one for the good guys.”
The tournament featured 18 players from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, something Lowry admitted he “can’t stand” ahead of the event, with the Irishman admitting that was added motivation ahead of his first victory since The Open in 2019
On September 15, Lowry said the “disgusting” amount of money in professional golf could alienate fans and he “never contemplated” joining the Saudi-backed breakaway headed by Greg Norman.
“We are very lucky the corporate world loves golf and that’s why we have such great sponsors and that’s why we play for a lot of money, but I do feel like this is causing a division in the game, and it’s going to p*** people off,” Lowry told the No Laying Up podcast.
“People are going to stop watching it. I think the amounts of money that are being thrown around are absolutely disgusting at the minute. I feel all people talk about is money now.”
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