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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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  1. Pingback: ‘You’re all f****d!’ – Sergio Garcia launches extraordinary attack on DP World Tour players – GolfWRX

  2. Joe

    Jul 1, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Uncalled for pettiness, just because someone decided to do something different than what has been. Pity.

  3. fred

    Jul 1, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Independent contractor moves to a better paid job. No news there, move along please…

    • geohogan

      Jul 1, 2022 at 5:19 pm

      Professional turns whore. Independent contractor my ass

  4. Will

    Jun 30, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Can the author of this and every other damn article stop using “whilst” over and over again? You sound like an idiot.

  5. Harold

    Jun 30, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    The Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup will be a complete joke without these guys from either side.

    • Mom's basement dweller

      Jul 1, 2022 at 6:45 am

      I could not disagree more. Who are you going to miss? Reid who missed last year? Garcia who missed a few years ago? Poulter who always relies on picks at this point? Bryson who’s absence always makes for a better event in my book? Brooks who simply doesn’t care?

  6. Mike

    Jun 30, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Don’t points (or a captain’s pick) qualify you For the Ryder cup? If they’re not playing in PGA events & earning points or the captain doesn’t pick them, seems pretty simple that they won’t be on the Ryder cup team.

    While we’re on the subject of friendships, it’s still a damn shame that Tiger and Steve Williams don’t speak. Tiger was best man at the guy’s wedding, & while I understand (perhaps) why tiger fired him, they were an incredible team. At least Steve got some satisfaction when Adam Scott won the Masters. But I would think that tiger, at this point in his life & after everything that happened, s/b secure enough to pick up the phone (given Williams has tried to reach out).

  7. Joe

    Jun 30, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Sergio better watch some Ryder cup highlights. He won’t get to play it again.

    • geohogan

      Jul 10, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      and Seve would be ashamed of Sergio.
      That shame will last longer than the cash or any friendship.

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19th Hole

Charles Barkley names his LIV price and gives breakaway tour timeline ultimatum

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A week ago, we reported on David Feherty’s decision to join the LIV team and mentioned the possibility of a few of the other star commentators jumping from their current employers over to the Greg Norman-led organization.

One obvious candidate is Charles Barkley, and the former 11-time NBA All-Star turned television analyst, appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday night to update viewers on the current negotiations.

Whilst Norman and Barkley have recently been out for dinner and had “really good conversation,” Barkley made it clear on Monday that a contract had not yet been offered to him and that speed was of the essence.

Set to play at the third LIV event in Bedminster this week, the TNT broadcaster clarified that there is a time limit.

“I’m gonna give them a deadline. The deadline is gonna be Thursday. I’m playing at the Pro-Am Thursday,” Barkley told the presenter.

“I’m not gonna keep TNT in limbo. I don’t think it’s fair to them. They’ve gotten plenty of play out of me coming to play out there Thursday. I’m not just gonna be no show pony. Don’t be wasting my time. I’m not gonna waste y’all time. When I leave New Jersey Thursday night, when I leave the golf course, if I don’t have an offer, it’s over.”

Previous reports suggest Barkley’s’ current contact has three years left at around $10 million per year plus endorsements, so how much would it take to get Barkley over to LIV from his current lucrative agreement?

Patrick guessed current total earnings were circa $20 million, and his guest didn’t seem in pains to deny that figure, though he suggested LIV need to come up with a much-increased offer – treble it!

After a previous comment that, “If somebody gave me $200 million, I’d kill a relative.” Barkley’s next move was of little surprise.

“If they triple it, your first question should be, ‘Charles, where we celebrating at tonight?'”

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19th Hole

Sergio Garcia says he now wants to STAY on DP World Tour…just 3 weeks after scathing X-Rated rant

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Just weeks after launching an extraordinary attack on DP World Tour players and resigning from the PGA Tour, Sergio Garcia says that he now wants to stay with the DP World Tour, with his aim to qualify for the 2023 European Ryder Cup team.

The former Masters champion spoke to ESPN just days after finishing 68th at The Open Championship, clearly having had some time between rages.

“When I finished the Open Championship [last] Sunday, I said that I was most likely going to resign my membership from the [DP World] Tour,” Garcia said. “That obviously meant not being eligible for the Ryder Cup because you have to be a member.”

“But thanks to the things that Jon Rahm said, and I had a couple of good conversations with guys on the [DP World] Tour, I’m going to hold off on that. I want to at least see what’s happening when the Ryder Cup qualification starts. See what kind of rules and eligibilities they have in there. If I agree with what they [are], I’ll definitely keep playing whatever I can on the tour and try to qualify for that Ryder Cup team. And if not, then we’ll move on. But it is definitely something that is in my mind.”

The reference to Rahm points to an interview with Spanish reporters in which the 2021 US Open winner claims that, “Because of this nonsense [the feud between the tours and LIV] there are players like (Garcia) who can’t play the Ryder Cup. That already makes me a little more angry.”

Garcia himself suggests that, despite the fines and suspensions, he is still keen on aiming for the showdown in Rome, an event that will hold a particular fascination given the potential clash of world stars that have chosen to LIV or not to LIV.

Whilst US captain Zach Johnson has been firm in his stance that LIV players will form no part of his side in 2023,  Europe has yet to announce a replacement for Henrik Stenson, ironically stripped of his captaincy for joining the Saudi-backed rebel league.

Garcia feels that the punishment of players that have jumped ship has made the episode “a little bit sadder with fines and bans,” whilst of Stenson, he commented, “What they did to Henrik. It’s a little bit sad.”

Both players will tee it up at Bedminster this week for the third LIV event of the series, but Garcia still believes there is hope for his desire to play the Rome event, telling ESPN:

“I told Keith Pelley [CEO of the DP World Tour], ‘I want to keep being a member of the DP World Tour. I want to play my minimum, still support the tour, still have my eligibilities to make Ryder Cup teams.” He said, ‘That’s great, but we got to do what’s best for us. We’ll see what that is.'”

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19th Hole

What happened to the players who played LIV’s opener that are now surplus to requirements

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LIV Golf has slowly but surely been adding notable talent to their player field as the weeks and months have gone on. While recent additions such as Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III likely have already played their best golf, there’s no denying they are notable names in the world of golf.

In Roman Numerals, LIV means 54 and the format for the series features 48 player fields battling it out over 54 holes. Considering the 48-man fields are unlikely to change (this year at least), the more notable golfers that get added to the series, the more golfers that need to be cast aside.

Which begs the question: What happens to the LIV defectors who’ve been replaced in the field by bigger names?

A handful of the players who’ve been replaced after the first event at Centurion Club are still members of the DP World Tour. Unlike the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour hasn’t suspended those who’ve chosen to play in LIV events indefinitely. Instead, they were assessed hefty fines and are still eligible to participate.

Among those who played at Centurion Club and returned to the DP World Tour after they weren’t invited to the LIV Portland event are Oliver Bekker, Oliver Fisher and Pablo Larrazabal.

Other golfers who appeared at LIV London but not LIV Portland include Kevin Yuan and Viraj Madappa who both returned to the Asian Tour, and 15-year-old phenom Ratchanon Chantananuwat who needs much more seasoning on the amateur circuit before he becomes a professional.

Andy Ogletree, who finished last at 24 over par, collected a cool £100,000 for his troubles and doesn’t currently play on any known professional golf tours.

In addition to the golfers left behind after LIV London, there are another handful who played LIV Portland but are not in the field at LIV Bedminster. Those golfers include Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Thailand), Sihwan Kim (USA), Adrian Otaegui (Spain), Ian Snyman (South Africa) and Blake Windred (Australia).

Itthipat Buranatanyarat has three wins on the Asian Development Tour and will likely be returning there.

Sihwan Kim has two wins on the Asian Tour this year, which were the first two victories of his professional career. He will continue to play on both the Asian Tour and DP World Tour in the future.

Adrian Otaegui will return to the DP World Tour and he recently played at the star-studded Genesis Scottish Open after his LIV Portland appearance.

Ian Snyman will continue to play on the Challenge Tour and the developmental tour in South Africa.

Blake Windred won his first professional event in his home of Australia this year and will be playing on the Challenge Tour going forward.

There will undoubtedly be plenty other players ousted from LIV Golf in the coming months as it’s been reported that there will be some more announcements coming after the FedEx Cup playoffs have concluded. Stars such as Cameron Smith and Hideki Matsuyama are among the big names rumored to be in talks with LIV.

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