Sergio Garcia has revealed that he had ‘asked to play in the 2023 Ryder Cup’ following the shockwave announcement that LIV Golf would be merging with the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour.
Last week, reports emerged claiming that the Spaniard had ‘failed in a last-ditch attempt to secure a place on the European Ryder Cup team.’
Garcia had reportedly spoken to DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley to ask him whether he could have his tour membership back, if he repaired the bridges that were broken when he defected to play for LIV Golf.
Membership would ultimately allow him to be eligible to be selected for the showdown in Rome.
‘I called and asked him about the possibility of me being a member of the Tour again,’ Garcia told i. ‘I knew I had to be a member to have any possibility of being a part of the European team in Rome.
Sergio Garcia (pictured) has sensationally revealed that he had ‘asked to play in the 2023 Ryder Cup’
Speaking in an interview Garcia said that he had asked DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley (pictured) if he could regain his Tour membership, which would allow him to be eligible to play in the biennial tournament in Rome
Team Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald (pictured) ultimately did not select any LIV Golf players in his squad to play in Rome in September
Luke Donald subsequently finalized his squad of players, with Justin Rose returning to the European Team for the first time in five years as a captain’s pick alongside Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and young star Ludvig Aberg – also called up by the Englishman.
But there were no LIV Golf players to be seen in Donald’s squad, with stalwarts of the biennial tournament, Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter all being excluded from selection because of their affiliation with the Saudi-backed breakaway league.
Pelley had previously stated that players who resigned and wanted reinstatement needed to notify the DP World Tour by May 1, but none did so.
It came after defecting European Tour players were fined and suspended, with the above trio resigning their memberships earlier this year, surrendering any chance they had of playing at the Marco Simone golf course in Rome this September.
Back in April, the DP World Tour won a legal battle against the LIV Golf rebels, with a sports arbitration panel ordering the defectors to pay fines of £100,000 each.
According to i, Garcia had also, even ‘spoken with old friend Luke Donald to ask about the prospect of attaining a captain’s pick’ before the landmark merger took place.
Donald was, according to the outlet, ‘not giving him any assurances’, so Garcia subsequently turned to Pelley, approaching the European Tour chief on the possibility of being granted membership of the Tour once again.
The Spaniard claimed that he was willing to pay off the bill in order to regain his tour membership and ultimately play in the Ryder Cup.
Lee Westwood (second from left) and Ian Poulter (second from right) were also ineligible to play at the tournament because of their affiliation with LIV
Brooks Koepka (pictured) is the only LIV Golfer who will appear at the tournament in Rome, having been picked by Steve Stricker for the US Team
But Garcia (pictured) told Keith Pelley that he would pay off all his fines and play in the DP World Tour in order to retain his place on the circuit
‘That’s what I wanted,’ he said. ‘If I paid all my fines and played the minimum number of tournaments required. I was willing to do both, though it would not be ideal because I would have had to play 10 out of 11 or 12 weeks [before the season’s end].
Apart from the tournament at Celtic Manor in 2010, the 43-year-old has been named in every European Ryder cup team since 1999.
He boasts one of the best records at the tournament, going 25-13-7 (W-L-H), while helping the side to victory on six occasions, notably being a part of the European Team who claimed a famous victory at Medinah in 2012 with Garcia clinching two points for his team.
The 2017 Masters champion also broke Nick Faldo’s record to become the player with the most individual Ryder Cup match victories, 25, during the 2021 event at Whistling Straits.
But when speaking on whether the DP World Tour chief would grant his wish to play in the 2023 competition, he said: ‘The answer was, there was no chance.
‘When he [Pelley] told me that there was no point going forward with anything else.
‘I’m not going to make the extra effort if I’m not going to get any love back from them.
‘Pelley said hopefully next year everything will be more favourable for all of us but he did not encourage me to become a member. That is a decision I will make with my family and will try to see what is the best thing we can do.
‘At the moment, the feeling is not amazing. We will see where we end up when the new year starts. It is what it is.’
The Spaniard admitted that Pelley (pictured) rebuffed his request, stating that Garcia could not become a member until next year
The 2017 Masters winner also ‘thanked’ former Ryder Cup team-mate and Jon Rahm (right) who he said he ‘wanted to play alongside in Rome’
As part of the merger between golf’s tours, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have agreed to work with Saudi backers of the LIV Golf league to help defecting players return to play on the historical golf tours.
Menahwhile, Brooks Koepka, who plays for Smash GC on the LIV Tour, will be the only player form the breakaway league to play at the event in Rome.
Garcia, meanwhile, who has 11 career victories on the PGA Tour and 16 on the DP World Tour added that he would have ‘loved to have played in Rome’ but must ‘respect the decision’ made by the DP World Tour.
World No.3, Jon Rahm was also very vocal in support of Garcia in his bid to be a part of the team.
Garcia admitted that he was grateful to the 2023 Masters Champion for his support, stating that he wanted to play with him in Rome, having admitted the pair ‘gelled really well together’ in Wisconsin in 2021.