The saga over Sergio Garcia’s WD at the BMW PGA Championship just got juicier
If Sergio Garcia thought he was getting the last laugh on the DP World Tour by being at the Texas-Alabama college football game Saturday instead of playing at the BMW PGA Championship, he might have another thing coming. A spokesperson for the tour confirmed to Golf Digest that tournament officials are considering fining the Spaniard if he does not offer a proper explanation for his withdrawal from the event.
Garcia was already a controversial entrant in the tournament—as were all 15 players now competing on the LIV Golf circuit who decided to play in the DP World Tour’s flagship event. But unlike the others, Garcia was a no show when the second round, delayed a day due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, was played at Wentworth Club outside of London on Saturday. Instead, he was on the sidelines 5,000 miles away in Austin.
The tour spokesperson said that Garcia and his representatives have yet to provide the tour a reason for his WD. Garcia had shot a first-round 76 on Thursday and would have needed to shoot a 64 in the second round to have made the cut and played in Sunday’s final round.
According to DP World Tour regulations: “A player is not entitled to withdraw at the conclusion of the first round or during the play of any round of a tournament. Exception: emergency reasons or medical circumstances deemed reasonable by the Tournament Director. Written evidence of medical circumstances must be forwarded to the Tournament Director or the Entries Department within 21 days following the withdrawal. A player not observing this regulation will be fined.”
The possibility of a fine was first reported on Monday by The Telegraph.
Suffice it to say, tour officials needed little additional reason to be upset with Garcia, who has spoken out publicly and privately against the DP World Tour since signing on with LIV in June.
Asked before the BMW PGA about a possible strain between LIV golfers and DP World Tour members playing out at Wentworth, Garcia, a 16-time winner on the former European Tour, responded: “I’m sure some guys will be tense about it [because] we’re going to go out there and play; what I’m going to do is support the European tour and that’s all I can do. Whoever doesn’t like it, too bad for them.”
Garcia attended the annual players meeting at Wentworth on Tuesday and asked DP World Tour chief Keith Pelley if LIV golfers could be part of the European Ryder Cup team next September in Italy. A player who attended the meeting but spoke on the condition of anonymity told Golf Digest: “Pelley’s response was that they can certainly earn points starting this week, but we don’t know what will happen in the next 12 months. Any more questions? You could hear a pin drop. I was laughing at that point. I had expected this to last at least 90 minutes and maybe get a little hostile. But no. Just about nothing came of it all.”
Garcia is scheduled to compete in this week’s LIV Golf event at Rich Harvest Farms outside of Chicago.
Original article by Ryan Herrington on GolfDigest