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Sergio Garcia made a desperate phone call to DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley during his last-ditch efforts to play in this year’s Ryder Cup.
In an interview with i, Garcia has opened up on his late attempts to resurrect his Ryder Cup career before this year’s contest in Rome by making himself eligible for Luke Donald’s side.
The Spaniard was willing to settle outstanding fines totalling up to £700,000 with the former European Tour imposed for competing in LIV Golf events, as well as playing in tournaments on the circuit he had resigned from back in May.
But Garcia has now revealed that his hopes were dashed when Pelley told him there was “no chance” that he could make an immediate comeback on the tour and boost his chances of a dramatic return for Team Europe.
“I called and asked him about the possibility of me being a member of the Tour again,” Garcia explained.
“I knew I had to be a member to have any possibility of being a part of the European team in Rome. That’s what I wanted, 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.
“The answer was, there was no chance. When he 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.”
Garcia, the Ryder Cup’s all-time leading points scorer, says that Pelley advised him that the landscape will be ‘more favourable’ next year following the outcome of the framework peace agreement, but the Canadian stopped short of encouraging him to re-apply for membership on his circuit.
This year’s match at Marco Simone will be only the second time since making his debut in 1999 that Garcia will not be teeing it up for Team Europe, but the 43-year-old stalwart will still be supporting his former teammates from afar.
“I love the Ryder Cup and the feeling that being on that team gives you,” he insisted. “That’s not going to go away. It doesn’t matter whether they want me to play another or they don’t. That is something that is in me. That will never change.
“Am I disappointed that I’m not there? Yes absolutely. But that does not mean I’m going to wish for bad things for them.”
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