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Sergio Garcia can’t keep himself out of the headlines at the moment. The popular Spaniard is one of the many European stars that have joined the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series which has sparked a backlash in the golfing realm.
Garcia was set to quit the DP World Tour after saying he was ‘not feeling loved’ after the British Open two weeks ago. This resignation would have meant that the 42-year-old was ineligible to play in the Ryder Cup which would be a massive shame as he has been one of Team Europe’s best performers with a record of 25 wins, 13 ties, and only 7 losses.
Since 1999 when he made his debut, Garcia has competed in every Ryder Cup apart from in 2010 so there’s no doubt he’s one of Europe’s most reliable members and would be a huge loss if he resigned from the tour.
Change of heart
However, the 2017 Masters winner has reversed his decision to quit the DP World Tour after speaking to compatriot Jon Rahm.
“When I finished the Open Championship, I said that I was most likely going to resign my membership from the DP World Tour,” Garcia was quoted as saying by ESPN.
“That obviously meant not being eligible for the Ryder Cup because you have to be a member.”
“But thanks to the things that Jon Rahm said, and I had a couple of good conversations with guys on the DP World Tour, I’m going to hold off on that.”
This is excellent news for golf fans in Europe because Garcia is one of the most talented golfers on Tour so it will be great to see him represent Team Europe again and compete on the DP World Tour. There are still a lot of questions unanswered, though.
Time will tell for Garcia’s Ryder Cup hopes
“I want to at least see what’s happening when the Ryder Cup qualification starts. See what kind of rules and eligibilities they have in there,” Garcia added.
“If I agree with what they [are], I’ll definitely keep playing whatever I can on the tour and try to qualify for that Ryder Cup team.
“And, if not, then we’ll move on. But it is definitely something that is on my mind.”
The DP World Tour has punished but not banned golfers who have defected to the LIV Series, unlike the PGA Tour, which has suspended any of its members that have participated in the breakaway tournaments.
Team Europe in search for a new captain
Team Europe announced the news that Henrik Stenson has been removed as captain of the 2023 European Ryder Cup squad last week shortly before the Swede announced he was joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series that has lured players with the promise of big money.
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) July 20, 2022
Garcia believes the handling of Stenson has made things “a little bit sadder” but insists he still wishes to support the DP World Tour.
“Now it’s gotten a little bit sadder with fines and bans,” Garcia said. “What they did to Henrik. It’s a little bit sad.
“I told Keith Pelley (CEO of the DP World Tour), ‘I want to keep being a member of the DP World Tour‘.
“I want to play my minimum (5 events), still support the tour, still have my eligibilities to make Ryder Cup teams.
“He said, ‘That’s great, but we got to do what’s best for us. We’ll see what that is.“
It appears that Thomas Bjorn or Luke Donald are favourites to be named as the new captain when Team Europe face Team USA in Rome, Italy in September 2023.