Golf news 2022: Sergio Garcia claims to join Saudi golf league during lost-ball meltdown

Golf star Sergio Garcia has dropped a not-so-veiled hint that added to, if not confirmed, speculation of an “alarming” $360 million move.

Sergio Garcia has been rumoured to be one of the players attached to the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Series, the controversial rival golf league to the PGA Tour being headed up by Greg Norman.

In Thursday’s opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship, the 42-year-old Spaniard dropped a not-so-veiled hint that added to, if not confirmed, the speculation.

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After pulling his tee shot into a penalty area on the 10th hole at TPC Potomac Farms, it took a while for Garcia to find his ball. Though he was able to find it in the tall grass of the marsh, he was informed by a rules official that he took longer than the allotted three minutes to do so, meaning he incurred a one-shot penalty.

But Garcia did not agree with when the rules official began timing him, as the clock starts once he is deemed to be in the vicinity of the ball. While walking through the knee-high grass, Garcia said to the official, “A couple more weeks, and I won’t have to deal with you anymore.”

The first LIV Golf Series event is scheduled for June 9-11 outside London.

Garcia could also be heard saying, “I can’t wait to leave this tour … can’t wait to get outta here.”

The 2017 Masters champion also let loose with a few expletives.

Though Garcia declined to speak to the media following his round, a representative for him told the New York Post that Garcia has in fact filed for a release for the London event. He would not comment on whether Garcia planned to for the other seven LIV Golf events as well, five of which are scheduled to be held in the United States, including at Trump National Bedminster.

Just under AU$360 million in prizemoney will be on offer over the eight events.

Earlier this week, Lee Westwood announced that he too has filed for a release from the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour to play in the first LIV Golf Series event next month — because the tournament conflicts with events on those tours, players must seek a release to compete in it.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Robert Garrigus are the only other PGA Tour players to have publicly committed to the London tournament, though others are expected to as well.

Whether players who do compete in the LIV Golf Series will be suspended from the PGA Tour or DP World Tour remains to be seen. Should Garcia elect to play on the rival circuit, it could also put his future Ryder Cup status in jeopardy. The same is true for Westwood, who said on the matter that it’s “in the European Tour’s court.”

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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