'I’d Rather Be Out Of It' - Garcia Feels Frozen Out Of Ryder Cup

The all-time Ryder Cup record points scorer says he will keep away if he's not wanted by current players

Sergio Garcia at the ryder cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia says he loves the Ryder Cup too much to become a distraction or hurt the team by trying to get involved while the row with LIV Golf is still rumbling on.

The all-time record Ryder Cup points scorer can’t qualify for the 2023 event in Rome after he failed to enter next week’s Mallorca Open meaning he won’t make the qualifying criteria on the DP World Tour.

With the likes of Rory McIlroy, who was a good friend before LIV, saying he feels the breakaway golfers shouldn’t play at the Ryder Cup, Garcia accepts that he may not be wanted at the event he’s starred in over the years.

And Garcia has no intention of trying to muscle in on the Ryder Cup if the players don’t want him there – saying he has too much love for the competition.

“I’ve always said I love the Ryder Cup too much,” Garcia told Sports Illustrated. “I obviously would love to keep being a part of it. When I see that so many people are against it - if the team is better without me, I’d rather be out of it.

“There’s obviously several guys who feel strongly that way. The Tour is on that same thought. So I don’t want to be something that might hurt the team. I love the Ryder Cup too much.

“Obviously it’s sad for me, how much I love the Ryder Cup and everything I’ve been able to do with Europe there. That’s the way they want it. I’m just helping out.”

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia celebrate at the Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With all the animosity between both Tours and LIV Golf, along with the current European players being uneasy, Garcia is highly unlikely to get a pick even from good friend and captain Luke Donald.

“I’ve talked to him, but Luke is in a tough situation,” Garcia added. “He’s the captain, but at the same time he has to look at all the players, what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling. Also the tour. So it’s a tough spot for him.”

Fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm has tried to stand by Garcia and diffuse the situation, saying: “The Ryder Cup is not the PGA Tour and European Tour against LIV. It’s Europe versus the US, period.”

At 42, Garcia was a long shot to make the team for Marco Simone Golf & Country Club anyway, but as it stands a more sad and significant outcome is that the most successful player in Ryder Cup history will not be the European captain he seemed destined to be.

Garcia, with 10 Ryder Cups, seven wins and a 25-13-7 record, can still look back on his impact on the event with fond memories – even if his relationship with golf’s ultimate team contest now comes to an end.

“It’s been amazing,” Garcia said. “The good thing is the way I look at it is I’ve been fortunate to be a part of many of them and many successful ones.

“Amazing relationships. There’s been a lot of good things. I’ve been able to achieve a lot with the European Tour. It’s not like I feel I have something to prove or anything like that at all.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.