Sergio Garcia made a desperate last-ditch attempt to play in this month’s Ryder Cup but was rebuffed by the DP World Tour, who told him that because had resigned his membership there was no back in time for the match in Rome.
Garcia, the Ryder Cup’s all-time leading points scorer, stated that he was “resigned” to missing the showdown in the Italian capital in two weeks’ time. The 43-year-old refused to pay his £100,000 fine for joining the breakaway LIV Golf League and handed in his card after the sanctions were issued in May.
Yet after rekindling his relationship with Rory McIlroy – the world No 2 with whom he suffered a public fallout following his multi-million dollar move to the Saudi-funded circuit – as well as his continued close relationship with Europe captain Luke Donald, Garcia dramatically tried to resurrect his Rome dream.
Neither Garcia’s agent nor Ryder Cup Europe were available for comment, but a Tour insider outlined the attempted audacious U-Turn.
“They suddenly came to us and said that not only would he pay the £100,000 but also all of the outstanding fines if was allowed to play,” the source said, who estimated the complete bill at more than £700,000.
“They also said they’d play in whatever events we wanted, apart from those that clashed with the remaining 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. It was all a bit bizarre as that was made clear all along. As it is, Sergio remains the only one of the LIV players not to have paid the original £100,000 fine. Lee Westwood has paid, Ian Poulter has paid… but Sergio still hasn’t.”
It is understood that Donald was not party to these discussions and that, in his mind, regardless of the friendship, Garcia has not been in his thinking since the split occurred. Jon Rahm, the world No 3, has made no secret of his wish for his countryman to be alongside him when the home side try to stop the US from winning on European soil for the first time in 30 years.
The pair were the sole bright spot in the heavy defeat at Whistling Straits two years ago, winning three out of three points together, and Rahm plainly believes that Garcia would be a huge benefit for the blue and gold brigade. “I think it would be really stupid for anybody not to lean on Sergio García’s experience in the Ryder Cup,” Rahm said earlier this week. “He is the best player Europe has ever had, won the most points, and he has shown it time and time again.”
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.