The DP World Tour has confirmed that Sergio Garcia has been fined for his withdrawal from last month’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
The DP World Tour handbook says players must provide “emergency reasons or medical circumstances deemed reasonable” to justify a withdrawal from a tournament. Garcia did not provide an explanation for his WD.
Garcia shot an opening round 76 before play was halted due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
There was no play on Friday at Wentworth, and when Saturday rolled around, Garcia had already withdrawn and made his way to Austin for the Texas vs. Alabama football game.
— Angela Garcia (@TheAngelaAkins) September 10, 2022
Garcia and other LIV Golf defectors were initially suspended from the DP World Tour after playing in the first LIV event in London back in June. Those suspensions were lifted after three LIV players – Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui, and Justin Harding – were granted an injunction by a UK court to play in the Genesis Scottish Open in early July.
Garcia’s withdrawal at Wentworth, along with his lack of starts on the DP World Tour, has all but confirmed that he will not be able to be a part of the European Ryder Cup team in Rome next year.
Garcia had attended the annual DP World Tour players meeting at Wentworth and asked commissioner Keith Pelley about the possibility of LIV players being a part of the European team in 2023. A player who attended the meeting but spoke on the condition of anonymity told Golf Digest:
“Pelley’s response was that they can certainly earn points starting this week, but we don’t know what will happen in the next 12 months. Any more questions?”
Garcia has been a part of every European Ryder Cup team since 1999, and his singles victory over Rickie Fowler in the 2018 Ryder Cup made him the top points scorer in the event’s history.
After another three points in 2021 at Whistling Straits, Garcia has cemented himself atop the record books with 28.5 points earned. Despite the decorated history, it seems all but certain he will miss the Ryder Cup for the first time in more than two decades.
A player must play a minimum of four DP World Tour events in order to maintain their status, which Garcia has not done. Losing his membership would mean that Garcia would not be eligible to participate in next year’s Ryder Cup.
While he could still participate in DP World Tour events without membership status, he would not earn points toward qualifying for the Ryder Cup team.
Fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm has defended Sergio in the past about his decision not to play more on the DP World Tour.
“It is a complicated situation for Sergio,” Rahm said. “I understand that he decides not to play, because the last time he played a tournament on the European circuit he was not received very well.”
Rahm also thinks that the Ryder Cup shouldn’t get involved in golf’s current civil war, and that LIV players like Garcia should still be able to play.
“The Ryder Cup is not the PGA Tour and European Tour against LIV,” Rahm said. “It’s Europe versus the U.S., period. The best of each against the other, and for me the Ryder Cup is above all. I wish they could play but it doesn’t look good.”