Sergio Garcia says he wouldn’t want to be a Ryder Cup “burden” after joining the LIV Golf Series.
Garcia is the all-time points leader at the Ryder Cup and has made 10 appearances in the competition since his debut in 1999.
The Spaniard’s decision to skip the Mallorca Open, earlier this month means he won’t meet DP World Tour membership criteria to qualify for the Europe team for next year’s Ryder Cup, which will be held in Italy.
In September, Garcia had pulled out of the PGA Championship at Wentworth, the flagship event for the DP World Tour, and has said he didn’t like the way he was being treated.
“Obviously, I knew some of the things that might happen if I joined here, but at the end of the day, as we’re seeing, you can see that some of the guys on the other side don’t really want me there,” Garcia told a media conference ahead of LIV Golf’s season-closing team championship.
“I don’t want to be a burden to anyone and even less in a Ryder Cup. I’d rather be away from that as much as it hurts and make sure that Europe has the best chance of winning than me being there and three or four guys that are going to be there are going to be upset or something.”
Garcia is strongly associated with the Ryder Cup having been on the winning European team on seven occasions and enjoying some memorable moments.
But the 42-year-old said that he doesn’t regret his move to the Saudi-backed series.
“I can only speak for myself, but I’ve definitely made the right decision. I feel like I’m where I want to be,” he said.
“I think the Ryder Cup is bigger than any of us or me for that matter, even with my record, and I’m happy to be able to be here and enjoying my time with my three [team] partners and trying to build something that is very exciting and that we’re extremely proud of.”
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who had the Ryder Cup captaincy taken away after joining LIV in July, is also at Doral and denied reports that he had used his position as captain as leverage in negotiations.
“I can give you a 100% honest answer that it was never the case. I would be willing to take a lie-detector test on that,” he said.
© Agence France-Presse