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Sergio Garcia reportedly made a bizarre, last-gasp bid to resurrect his Ryder Cup career in time for this year’s match in Rome – was rebuffed by DP World Tour bosses.

The Telegraph’s James Corrigan is reporting that Garcia, the contest’s all-time record points-scorer, offered to pay the fines he incurred for defecting to LIV Golf in the summer of 2022 in full in an attempt to make himself eligible for next week’s clash.

However, he was told by officials that, because he had resigned his membership of the former European Tour, there was no way back. At least, not in time for the contest at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.

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Corrigan’s report does not say when, exactly, the attempted U-turn took place but quotes a tour insider, who detailed how it all unfolded.

“They suddenly came to us and said that not only would he pay the £100,000 but also all of the outstanding fines if was allowed to play,” said the source.

“They also said they’d play in whatever events we wanted, apart from those that clashed with the remaining LIV tournaments. But it was explained that, despite the ongoing peace talks, as he had resigned his membership, he is not eligible to join until next year.

“It was all a bit bizarre as that was made clear all along. As it is, Sergio remains the only one of the LIV players not to have paid the original £100,000 fine. Lee Westwood has paid, Ian Poulter has paid… but Sergio still hasn’t.”

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The same insider estimated Garcia’s total bill at more than £700,000.

Garcia is arguably Europe’s greatest Ryder Cup player of all time. He has played in the contest ten times since his debut in 1999 amassing a record 28.5 points along the way.

He was a vice-captain for the only match he has missed since his debut, in 2010 at the Celtic Manor Resort, meaning that this will be the first Ryder Cup in which he has not featured in some capacity since the 1997 match at his beloved Valderrama.

The prospect of a peace deal between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls the LIV Golf League, has raised hopes that players such as Garcia could feature in the Ryder Cup again in the future, whether in a playing or non-playing capacity.

Garcia’s Spanish compatriot Jon Rahm is most certainly in favour of that.

“I think it would be really stupid for anybody not to lean on Sergio Garcia’s experience in the Ryder Cup,” said the reigning Masters champion ahead of last week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

“He is the best player Europe has ever had, won the most points, and he has shown it time and time again.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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