As Sergio García came off the Old Course for probably the final time in an Open Championship, there was no inclination for sentimentality or reflection. Instead the LIV convert, who finished two under par for the tournament, told reporters he will resign from the DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour. This will mean the 42-year-old is ineligible for the Ryder Cup, of which he is the all-time leading points scorer.
“I am quite clear about what I am going to do with the European circuit. Probably leave it,” García revealed after his 73 on Sunday. “Honestly, I want to play where they love me. I like to feel loved and sincerely in the European Tour. I don’t feel loved now.
“I have what I have and I am very happy with it and I want to enjoy it to the fullest. I’ll play less, I’ll be home more. If I don’t play big, then I don’t play them, but honestly I don’t care much either. I feel sorry for the Ryder Cup, but because of how I’m playing I wouldn’t be for Ryder either. My resignation is not official, but I’m going to make it effective.
“There are comments that do not make you feel good. I have given more than half of my life to the European Tour and feel that because you make a personal and professional decision and look once for you they treat you like that, it’s not worth it. And that I was going to continue on the European Tour. There are things that can be done differently. What they are doing is a shame because the European Tour is going to become the fifth [best] in the world.”
A crowd favourite for the majority of his 25 years on the Tour, García was an incredibly popular Masters winner in 2017. As a former champion, with LIV golfers unable to accumulate world rankings points to qualify for future major championships, Augusta is the only one he would be guaranteed to play.
“When Thomas Bjørn – former captain of the Ryder – came to the BMW Championship and told us that here: ‘We don’t love any of you and all players say it,’” García claimed. “I already have an age and had had enough suffering to be enduring nonsense like that.”
In response to García’s comments, Bjørn tweeted on Sunday that he had “never spoken to Sergio about this subject”.
García’s comments have grown increasingly erratic in recent months. He was caught on camera screaming at a rules official during the Wells Fargo Championship in May, saying, “I can’t wait to leave this tour. I can’t wait to get out of here. A couple of more weeks and I won’t have to deal with you any more.”
When asked on Sunday if he enjoyed his four rounds at St Andrews, García bluntly replied: “Not very much. I enjoyed the crowd, but that was about it.”
July 18, 2022 at 12:11AM Michael Butler at St Andrews