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Sergio Garcia looks set to avoid European Tour suspension following his DQ at the Saudi International

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According to a report from Martin Dempster at The Scotsman, Sergio Garcia will receive no suspension following his disqualification for “serious misconduct” at the Saudi International.

Following the news that Sergio Garcia had been DQ’d as a result of purposefully damaging the greens in Saudi Arabia, many golf fans took to social media, calling for a lengthy suspension for the Spaniard as well as a forfeit of his appearance money. However, as per the report, Garcia will face no further punishment.

The signs emerged during Friday’s round that something was off with Garcia when he lost control and swiped his club repeatedly at an unraked bunker before audibly swearing in Spanish.

The following day, Garcia was found guilty of dragging the soles of his shoes into a handful of putting greens, not repairing a divot, and causing damage to the putting surfaces.

Following his DQ, the Spaniard stated “I respect the decision of my disqualification. I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologize for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again”. Garcia also apologized immediately after to players in the groups behind for his behaviour.

Those apologies look set to be enough for Garcia to escape greater punishment, as per the Scotsman, European Tour CEO Keith Pelley has now appeared to put the incident to bed, saying

“The incident is over. We have dealt with it. Sergio has apologized to the players and we move on.”

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. BigGolfConsumer

    Feb 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I am banning all Callaway golf products until such time as Sergio Garcia is terminated from Callaway! Come on Callaway, step up and do the right thing! Golf courses, especially greens are sacred places for those of us that love golf!

  2. Big Worm

    Feb 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Seems like what Sergio did (has also done in the past) is much more serious than what Kevin Kisner did to get suspended from his home club. Not sure the golfing world would lose much if he just went away permanently.

  3. Tom

    Feb 4, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    When Tiger swore and threw clubs, he was never suspended, was he?

  4. Chipsjusonce

    Feb 4, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    This is why you don’t read text’s from the Ex before the round… lessons to be learned…

  5. J

    Feb 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    thats golf lol! we need him for entertainment!

  6. B

    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Come on, players like so should be banned forever. That’s pretty much like speeding on the motorway with the potential to bring death to the innocent people. Spitting in the hole, throwing shoe, clubs, now destroying greens? The whole league of PGA pros keep their ethics just to be tainted by one bad apple.

  7. jimg

    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    My God, what a baby! The European has lost a load of credibility by taking no further action. A member of any club would face sanction or possible complete prohibition for this type of temper tantrum. Sergio should forfeit appearance fee AND be fined at least 100K – which should be turned over to the host golf course. What a message the supposed Leaders of the Game are giving to junior golfers. Perhaps the USGA, the PGA Tour, and or the Masters will step up and rescind invitations … Dear Mr. Ridley; …

  8. Ramiro

    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    “If there is someone who has never sinned can start by throwing the first stone”

  9. TONEY P

    Feb 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I was a Sergio fan but not anymore, he needs to be suspended for a month or two. Doing damage to the course intentionally is, on a few greens , signs of a breakdown and for a professional to do so affecting the play of others pro’s. Even at a mini course they would ban that person for a while.

  10. Stixman

    Feb 4, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I think the governing bodies of both PGA and European Tours are totally spineless, gutless and ruled by expediency, not principle. Both FIGJAM and Garcia should have face lengthy punitive bans for their lapses in civilised behaviour.

  11. 2putttom

    Feb 4, 2019 at 10:57 am

    those actions remind me of men’s league.

  12. JP

    Feb 4, 2019 at 10:14 am

    WHY isn’t he suspended from any future events?

  13. the dude

    Feb 4, 2019 at 9:50 am

    pics of the greens???

  14. dat

    Feb 4, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Pathetic manchild. I’ve seen this bunker stuff AS A JOKE on muni courses, where you can repair the damage with a rake. On a green though??

  15. golf golf golf

    Feb 4, 2019 at 9:41 am

    That was a funny outburst. It gets better every time you watch it, and I’ve watched it a bunch. He’s a boob, a cry baby. There should be some suspension time for the damage to the greens. That’s completely unacceptable.

  16. Bryan

    Feb 4, 2019 at 9:29 am

    This guy is a bratty child trapped in a mans body.

  17. bj

    Feb 4, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Damn that tantrum was funny!!! There was clearly a gopher running around in the bunker he was tray to dispatch

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Kuchar defends caddie payment: “For a guy who makes $200 a day, a $5,000 week is a really big week” (Update: Kuchar to pay $50K)

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UPDATE: 2/15, 5:10 p.m. 

Following his opening round at the Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Classic, Matt Kuchar announced he has reversed course and will pay fill-in caddie David Ortiz $50,000 for his services during last year’s Mayakoba Classic.

Kuchar issued that statement below, via PGATour.com.

“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse. They made it seem like I was marginalizing David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed. That is not who I am and not what I want to represent. My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or to the expectations I’ve set for myself. I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down. I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.

“I never wanted to bring any negativity to the Mayakoba Golf Classic. I feel it is my duty to represent the tournament well, so I am making a donation back to the event, to be distributed to the many philanthropic causes working to positively impact the communities of Playa del Carmen and Cancún.

“For my fans, as well as fans of the game, I want to apologize to you for not representing the values instilled in this incredible sport. Golf is a game where we call penalties on ourselves. I should have done that long ago and not let this situation escalate.”

End update. 

Earlier this week, Matt Kuchar’s stand-in caddie for last year’s Mayakoba Classic spoke about how he felt he was “taken advantage of” after receiving a payment of $5,000 following Kuchar’s win in Mexico, which carried with it a $1,296,000 winners prize. On Wednesday, Kuchar vehemently defended what he sees as a fair and just payment to David Ortiz.

In an interview with Golf.com, Kuchar claimed that he was up front and honest about the arrangement prior to the event, and Ortiz had accepted the terms, which reportedly were $1,000 if Kuchar missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 and $4,000 if he had a top-10. The reason for Ortiz’ dissatisfaction with the payment post-event? That’s something Kuchar put down to outside influences.

“I kind of think someone got in his ear. I was very clear and very upfront on Tuesday (of the event). And he said, ‘OK.’ He had the ability, with bonuses, to make up to $4,000.

The extra $1,000 was, ‘Thank you — it was a great week.’ Those were the terms. He was in agreement with those terms. That’s where I struggle. I don’t know what happened. Someone must have said, ‘You need much more.’”

Ortiz previously stated in an interview with Golf.com how he had been offered an additional $15,000 but had refused the offer believing it to be substantially short of his $50,000 evaluation.

On Wednesday evening, Kuchar confirmed Ortiz’ story, saying “that was the agency”, and when questioned who would have paid the additional sum had Ortiz accepted, he stated, “It’s not coming out of Steinberg’s pocket.” Referring to his agent Mark Steinberg.

Kuchar will return to Mexico next week for the WGC-Mexico Championship for the first time since his victory in Mayakoba, and for the 40-year-old, the pay dispute is now over. Further explaining why he feels his payment to Ortiz for that week in Mayakoba had been fair, Kuchar stated

“For a guy who makes $200 a day, a $5,000 week is a really big week.”

 

 

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Pro cards a 17 at the LECOM Suncoast Classic, but delivers a valuable message after doing so

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Kevin Na’s infamous 16 at the Valero Texas Open back in 2011 will most likely follow him around for the rest of his career, but over on the Web.com Tour Ben DeArmond eclipsed that number, taking a 17 on his second hole of the day at the LECOM Suncoast Classic.

DeArmond, a club pro at TPC at Treviso Bay, opened the day with a bogey, before stepping on the tee at number two where it all went monumentally wrong. The tee shot on the par-4 second hole is a tester at Lakewood Ranch, with water down the right and OOB down the left. DeArmond hit his first tee shot out of play and then proceeded to do the same with his next five attempts too.

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DeArmond finally got the ball in-play on his seventh attempt and ended up carding a brutal 17 on the hole.

Speaking after the round, DeArmond who is playing this week on a sponsors exemption said

“I couldn’t get (the ball) up in the air even with a 5-iron, so I’m not used to that, just went a little numb. I’ve never made a 17 in my life, not even when I started playing golf,” he said. “After that it was fine, just had to feel my arms a little bit. … It was just nerves. I had a great range session, felt good going in, and it was just an out-of-body experience on that hole.”

The Floridian carded an opening nine of 54 which would have broken many players spirit, but to DeArmond’s credit, he not only finished the round but steadied the ship on his back nine with a homeward 37 to finish 19-over par.

While nobody could have blamed him if he packed it in after that torturous hole, walking away was never an option for DeArmond, who gave this great piece of advice to all golfers after his round.

“If you learn anything from me today, it’s don’t withdraw, don’t give up, have fun with it. It’s a game, everybody has a bad day.”

DeArmond starts his second round today at 2.06pm ET. Looking on the bright side; he’s just one place back of multiple major champ Angel Cabrera.

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Morning 9: Rainy Riv (Spieth co-leads) | USGA makes a mockery of amateur status? | 17 on a par 4

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)
  • February 15, 2019
Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Spieth co-leads suspended round 1 at rainy Riviera
Evin Priest of the AAP…”Jordan Spieth chipping in for birdie to take a share of the Genesis Open lead was the highlight of a rain-soaked and incomplete first round in Los Angeles.”
  • “After significant delays due to heavy rain on Thursday, no golfer in the 144-player field was able to complete the first round before US PGA Tour officials called play for the day just after 5.30pm due to darkness.”
  • “…he was joined moments later by South Korea’s Sung Kang.”

Full piece.

 

2. Mav leads Suncoast (MIKE WEIR 2 strokes back)
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”He chunk-pulled a 3-wood into the water and then flew the green with a wedge to bogey the par-5 16th hole Thursday at Lakewood National in Bradenton, Fla.”
  • “The mistake dropped McNealy back to even par through seven holes. But he remained positive.”
  • “A hole later, he told his caddie, Travis McAllister: “This golf course feels so gettable right now. I feel like I could birdie every hole.”
  • “McNealy just about did. He birdied eight of his last 10 holes and posted a second-nine 29 to shoot 8-under 64 and grab the clubhouse lead at the Web.com Tour’s Lecom Suncoast Classic before play was suspended because of darkness.”
3. 17
A club pro, teeing it up in the Suncoast Classic took no fewer than 17 strokes to get the ball in the hole at a par 4.
  • FTW’s Andrew Joseph…”The hole in itself seemed incredibly difficult: A 491-yard par 4 with water and woods on opposite sides.”
  • “It was a struggle as DeArmond hit six shots out of play. “
  • “At least he only needed one putt from the green. You have to look at the bright side.”
  • “I’ve learned nerves are a real thing,” DeArmond said. “I had a great range session, felt good going in, and it was just an out-of-body experience on that hole.”
4. A blow to amateur golf?
Geoff Shackelford penned a quality look at/scathing take on the USGA’s handling of the Lucy Li situation.
A few highlights…
  • “The message from Lucy Li’s case is clear. Take free stuff. Use your skill as a golfer to be a billboard. Just be famous and likable enough and the governing bodies of golf won’t revoke your status.”
  • “In a sad statement about the weakened state of amateur golf, Lucy Li gets to retain her status despite starring in an Apple Watch ad while wearing scripted Nike apparel. Following a six-week investigation, the USGA determined that Li unknowingly violated amateur status rules after an elaborately produced piece was filmed following a call from “a casting agent for an acting assignment to promote Apple Watch.”
  • And this…”The USGA said in a statement that Romo is in the clear because “everyone knows him first as a professional football player and his fame and fortune is not derived from golf.” But he is adding to his fortune on the back of his likeness as a golfer who competes in U.S. Open qualifying as an excellent amateur.”
Shackelford went on to say the the meaning of “amateur status” has been undermined.
5. Boo’s back
Boo Weekley is teeing it up at this week’s Lecom Suncoast Classic on the Web.com Tour.
  • Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”The 45-year-old golfer hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the 2017 RBC Canadian Open. He had surgery on his right elbow later that summer, after a bout with severe tendinitis, and the recovery kept him from hitting a golf ball for almost a year. When he finally was cleared to return to golf, his right shoulder started giving him trouble. The diagnosis?”
  • “I had cancer,” said Weekley, who went under the knife last July to remove the carcinoma and a cyst that had filled with fluid.
  • “The second operation kept him sidelined until late November…”

Full piece.

6. Actions speak louder?
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch says Sergio’s entire body of bad behavior trumps any apology tour.
  • “Twenty years ago at Wentworth in England, Garcia reacted to a lousy shot by ripping off his shoe and flinging it into the gallery. After missing a putt at Doral in 2007, he retrieved his ball then spit into the cup, a snotty gesture of contempt toward the competitors unfortunate enough to be playing behind him.”
  • “Those are but two snowflakes in a blizzard of boorish behavior.”
  • “There’s a club tossed into a lake, fans flipped off, microphones obliterated, his whirling dervish slashing in the bunker the day before his DQ in Saudi -all set to a whiny soundtrack that blames poor results on everyone from Tiger Woods to Carnoustie’s bunker rakers.”

Full piece.

 

7. Meanwhile, in Perth…
European Tour report…“Panuphol Pittayarat fired an impressive round of 66 to set the clubhouse target early on day two of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth.”
  • “The innovative event is making its third appearance in the Race to Dubai, with three rounds of stroke play cutting the field before the top 24 players go head-to-head in six hole knockout match play on Sunday to decide a winner.”
At this writing, Thomas Pieters, Ryan Fox, and Matthew Griffing are tied at the top as well.

Full piece.

 

8. On Spec
Wanted to alert y’all to our Ryan Barath’s club building and fitting podcast, On Spec. Whether you’re an experienced enthusiast or a mere dabbler, you’ll enjoy the pod.
9. Tiger 17 Gloves
Indicating what we might expect going forward from the partnership, in exclusive video content for GolfTV Tiger Woods talked with Henni Zuel about his approach to playing in the rain.
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