Sergio Garcia reportedly made a last-ditch effort to play in this month’s Ryder Cup, but his attempt was rejected.
According to an article from the Telegraph’s James Corrigan published Sunday, Garcia, 43, offered to make good on paying his fine for defecting to LIV Golf plus all other outstanding DP World Tour fines he owed, a total reportedly in the vicinity of £700,000, in hopes of becoming eligible to play for the European team that will compete in two weeks at Marco Simone outside of Rome. The story said that DP World Tour officials, however, turned down the plea from Garcia because he resigned his tour membership, which disqualified him from being eligible for the European team, and that he could not regain his membership in time for this year’s matches.
The Telegraph reached out to Garcia and Ryder Cup Europe, but said both parties were not available for comment.
In April, the DP World Tour won its legal battle against LIV Golf, with a U.K. arbitration panel upholding the former European Tour’s conflicting tournament release regulation and its ability to sanction members who breached it. A month later, the DP World Tour released a statement that 16 of the 17 players who left for LIV had paid fines levied against them, with the tour calling out the lone player who had not.
“Sergio Garcia has not paid his £100,000 fine, nor has he given any indication that he intends to,” read the statement. “We will therefore take appropriate action if he continues not to respect the Sport Resolutions panel’s decision.”
In that same May statement, the DP World Tour announced Garcia had resigned his tour membership. Despite the proposed partnership between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund that was announced in June, those who resigned their DP World Tour membership remain out of the upcoming biennial match between Europe and the United States. (American LIV players, however, are allowed to compete, as the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour, dictates player eligibility for the U.S. team. Brooks Koepka is the lone LIV representative for the Americans.)
The Telegraph story did not mention the nature of the other outstanding fines that Garcia faced. The 16-time DP World Tour winner, however, was fined an undisclosed amount by the tour after failing to provide a reason for withdrawing from the BMW PGA Championship in 2022. The tournament was reduced to 54 holes in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth, with Friday play canceled. Garcia WD’d after an opening-round 76 and was then seen Saturday on the sidelines of Texas-Alabama college football game 5,000 miles away.
Garcia has not played particularly well as of late. He is ranked 17th in LIV Golf’s season-long standings and appeared in just two majors this year, his best finish a T-27 at the U.S. Open. The Spainard has not posted a top-10 at a major since his Masters victory in 2017.
Conversely, the Ryder Cup has brought out the best in Garcia. He has played in 10 Ryder Cups for Team Europe and is the all-time leading scorer with 28½ career points. Garcia was also one of the few bright spots in Europe’s losing efforts in 2021, as he, along with Jon Rahm, were the only Europeans with winning records at Whistling Straits.
Following the DP World Tour’s announcement in May about Garcia’s unpaid fine, Garcia seemed resigned to his Ryder Cup fate.
“I talked to [Captain Luke Donald] two or three weeks ago,” Garcia said ahead of LIV Golf’s Washington, D.C., stop. “Obviously I had to make some decisions when it comes down to the DP World Tour, and I wanted to see where I stood in regards to the Ryder Cup. Luke is a good friend, but I wanted him to be sincere and tell me the truth, and he pretty much told me I had no chance.
“Obviously, that made my decision [to relinquish DP World Tour status] 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.”
The Ryder Cup begins Sept. 29 in Rome. The Americans are the defending champs, but have not won on foreign soil in 30 years.