Sergio Garcia became one of the high-profile names out of the European ranks to join the controversial LIV Golf Series in June 2022. As a result of his move to LIV, Garcia was forbidden from competing on the PGA Tour and his future involvement in the Ryder Cup looks to be over after skipper Henrik Stenson was stripped of the captaincy for joining Garcia in the ranks of the newly formed series.
Garcia has epitomized the European spirit at the Ryder Cup and has won more matches in the tournament than any other player in history. A Ryder Cup without the Spaniard is unthinkable, but it is the risk he has taken by moving to the breakaway series. You can still place a wager on Garcia at The Masters in 2023 if you bet on golf, where as a past winner he will aim to reclaim the Green Jacket, although he is backed at 80/1 to achieve the feat.
The recuperations of the LIV Golf series will make The Masters an interesting competition indeed if the players from the breakaway league are allowed to compete. It has already affected PGA Tour events and the Presidents Cup, where world number two Cameron Smith has been prohibited from participating.
As a result, the International team are backed as heavy outsiders at 6/1 in the Presidents Cup betting odds to win the competition. It is a warning of what could happen to the Ryder Cup should the discourse between two factions continue into 2023 and beyond.
Garcia has been a standout for Europe at the Ryder Cup, and even when Europeans have not been on song as they were in 2021 in a record-breaking defeat, the Spaniard was still operating at a high standard. He has constantly raised the level of his game in the pressurized atmosphere, defeating many illustrious opponents on the way.
Garcia is certainly a captain in waiting or at least was before the PGA Tour and DP World Tour adopted their stance on the LIV Series. Garcia has insisted that he still wants to play on the DP World Tour to attempt to force a way onto the next Ryder Cup team, which would place the DP World Tour in a tough bind, especially if American players are unable to compete for their involvement in the same competition.
Given the line the DP World Tour has set with Stenson it makes sense that Garcia would not be allowed to compete even as one of the captain’s picks from new skipper Luke Donald.
Compatriot Jon Rahm can fly the flag for Spain in the Ryder Cup even if Garcia is not present in the ranks. Rahm has spoken of his desire to see Garcia and the rest of the LIV Golf Series players be made available for the Ryder Cup selection. It’s an issue that’s not going to away any time soon. The competition is unique compared to other events around the world and is based on team performances rather than individuals.
If the team is happy for those players to be included it will make a very uncomfortable decision for the DP World Tour. For a player of Garcia’s caliber and all that he has done for Europe in the competition, he deserves to out on his terms rather than be overlooked for his decision to seek new pasture in the LIV series.