Sergio Garcia has admitted the decision to turn his back on Ryder Cup qualification was a hard one, but felt it better to vacate the stage following his decision to join LIV Golf.
Spanish superstar Garcia was one of a host of big names to defect from the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf.
Huge contracts were thrown at the star players, along with the chance to compete for a winner’s prize of $4 million at each LIV event.
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The emergence of LIV has split the game, with all players from the PGA Tour either resigning their memberships or being suspended.
United States players who joined LIV, such as Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau, have been banned from the Ryder Cup, but no decision has been made on the participation of European players.
Garcia has a storied Ryder Cup career and his fellow countryman Jon Rahm has called for LIV players to be considered for selection.
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The likes of Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter could still be in the mix, but Garcia is set to miss out. Unless he tees it up at the Mallorca Open next week he will not have played enough events in Europe to be eligible for selection.
Garcia failed to put his name on the entry list by last Friday’s deadline and although he could still compete via a sponsor’s invite, it appears he has made his mind up to step away.
“It was a hard decision,” Garcia said. “But unfortunately it doesn’t feel like I’m very welcome there, so I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.
“I’ve always said I love the Ryder Cup too much. I obviously would love to keep being a part of it. [But] when I see that so many people are against [me playing] … if the team is better without me, I’d rather be out of it.
“There’s obviously several guys who feel strongly that way. The [DP World] Tour is on that same thought. So I don’t want to be something that might hurt the team. Obviously it’s sad for me, how much I love the Ryder Cup and everything I’ve been able to do with Europe. That’s the way they want it. I’m just helping out.”
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Garcia, a member of six winning Ryder Cup teams, has spoken to Donald about the situation and said the captain was in a ‘tough situation’.
“I’ve talked to him, but Luke is in a tough situation,” Garcia said. “He’s the captain, but at the same time he has to look at all the players, what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling. So it’s a tough spot for him.”
The Ryder Cup gets underway at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on September 29 next year.
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