Sergio Garcia Fails To Qualify For Major For First Time Since 1999

The LIV Golf player will be absent from the PGA Championship, the first time he's not qualified for a Major in 24 years

Sergio Garcia takes a shot at the 2023 LIV Golf Singapore tournament
Sergio Garcia has failed to qualify for a Major for the first time since the 1999 US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club will feature 18 LIV Golf players. However, one player not among that number is Sergio Garcia.

That means next week's tournament will be the first time Garcia has failed to qualify for a Major since the 1999 US Open. In that time, he has missed just one, the 2020 Masters, when he was absent because he contracted Covid-19. Had he not been unwell, he would have been able to play thanks to his win at Augusta National three years earlier, which handed him an exemption for life.  

After missing the 1999 US Open, the Spaniard's run of Major qualification began with The Open before he marked his arrival at the PGA Championship with a bang, finishing second behind Tiger Woods by just one shot in a tournament that propelled him to international prominence. 

The 43-year-old, like many other LIV Golf players, has seen his Official World Golf Ranking suffer greatly since signing for the circuit. Garcia was World No.68 when he teed it up in the inaugural event at London’s Centurion Club but has now slipped to World No.189 - far lower than the top 100 threshold that has seen several other LIV Golf players receive an invite to this year’s event.

Because Garcia's Masters win came six years ago, another potential route for him to qualify this week no longer exists. That's because only winners of one of the three other showpiece events in the last five years automatically qualify.

As well as Garcia’s runner-up finish in his PGA championship debut all those years ago, he has three other top 10 finishes in the tournament, but he has yet to lift the Wanamaker Trophy. Had he converted one of those into a victory, we would have kept his qualification run going this year, as previous champions are exempt for life.

The fact Garcia was a member of the 2021 European Ryder Cup team doesn’t cut any ice either, given he is outside  the top 100 the week before the tournament, a stipulation for those players to qualify. Then, he missed the cut in last year’s tournament at Southern Hills, which fell way short of the top 15 position he needed to ensure qualification this year.

With his one Players Championship win coming in 2008, rather than in the last three years, Garcia couldn’t qualify via that route either. Neither did Garcia claim a PGA Tour win between last year’s event and his move to LIV, and nor did he appear in the top three on the OWGR’s International Federation Ranking on 24 April.

That left him needing a special invite from the PGA of America to keep his run going, but with the field finalised, with it came the confirmation that no such invite had been extended to Garcia. That means he has failed to qualify for a Major for the first time since the 1999 US Open, ending a run of qualification for 95 successive tournaments.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.