Despite instances of questionable behaviour throughout his career, no one has ever doubted Sergio Garcia’s quality and longevity on the golf course.
Although he won’t be playing in the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Garcia’s absence only shows his consistency since turning professional in 1999.
Next week’s tournament is the first major championship Garcia’s failed to qualify for since the year he became a pro.
This was the same year he burst on the scene at the PGA at Medinah. His run up the hill on the 16th hole after hitting an impossible cut around a tree is ingrained in the minds of many golf fans.
He would go on to come second to Tiger Woods, but his exciting performance in Chicago foreshadowed what became a mightily successful career.
In this 24-year period, the Spaniard has also finished second twice at the Open and the PGA Championship, as well as coming tied for third at the US Open in 2005.
It’s worth noting he missed the Masters in 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19 – but he was eligible to play after winning his sole major title at Augusta National in 2017.
He was considered one of the best golfers never to win a major before his crowning moment in Georgia and, because of that, he can drive down Magnolia Lane for the rest of his life.
However, the 43-year-old has no more major exemptions for the foreseeable future. 18 players from Greg Norman’s LIV Golf roster have made the field for the PGA Championship.
After joining LIV Golf, his world ranking has tumbled to 189, and apart from using the odd appearance on the Asian Tour to improve this mark, this will continue to depreciate.
Not only is Garcia’s major future in serious doubt, but his Ryder Cup future is beyond doubt now he is no longer a member of the formerly-named European Tour.
He became the famous event’s record points scorer in 2018 in France – but there is no prospect of further participation or captaincy.
Following the DP World Tour’s newfound rights to fine LIV players for competing in the rebel tour’s first event last June, Garcia has resigned from the circuit and therefore closed another route of gaining OWGR points.
17 players were fined $100,000 and Garcia was the only one not to pay by the deadline. The tour will now act accordingly to make sure they receive the cash.
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