As has become custom in recent times, LIV Golf dominated the headlines this week as a number of their players were part of the field at the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth.
A number of members of the Saudi-backed tour were taking part in the event after a court ruling earlier this year allowed them to do so, although it did not go down well with a number of other golfers.
Influential figures such as Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were open in their criticism of such individuals, saying they were only taking part for world ranking points and were robbing that place from other golfers who were in need of it in order to maintain their tour card.
Despite this, the LIV Golf rebels are entitled to take part as things stand. However, the actions of Sergio Garcia in recent days hammer home the valid complaints made by others.
Sergio Garcia criticised for BMW PGA Championship withdrawal
Garcia, who was one of the first big names to jump ship to LIV Golf, teed up in the first day at Wentworth on Thursday, producing a very poor display as he shot a +4 round of 76.
The second day's play was suspended due to the death of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, at which point the Spaniard seemed to decide he wasn't that bothered with the tournament anymore. He pulled out of the event without giving a reason as to why.
What's more, he would rock up at a college football game in America the following day, watching Texas take on Alabama.
— LIV Golf GO (@LIVGolfGO) September 10, 2022
Considering that Garcia did not say he was injured and seemed to have little issue flying across the Atlantic to attend a different sporting event, many are fairly assuming that he simply didn't fancy hanging around for the weekend after making a piss poor start to the tournament.
As well as that, his wife attended Texas, where her father was also a star quarterback in the 1970s. Considering that their games against Alabama is one of the biggest in the college football calendar, you'd find it difficult to imagine that they didn't have this date circled in their calendar for quite some time.
This makes his decision to commit to the tournament in the UK at the expense of a fellow player all the more bizarre.
He has been rightly criticised as a result, especially when you consider that his decision to take the place of another golfer at Wentworth could conceivably cost that player their tour card next year.
As it turns out, his fellow countryman Alfredo Farcia Heredia was the unfortunate one to miss out. With him being right on the cutoff point of retaining his card, playing in the tournament could have made a massive difference to his career.
Hard to express reaction at Wentworth to Sergio Garcia’s withdrawal after a 1st round 76, giving no reason. When he took his place in the field, the first alternate was fellow Spaniard Alfredo Garcia Heredia who is 134th on the R2D with the cutoff for 2023 cards currently at 121.
— Greg Allen (@gregallenRTE) September 10, 2022
Unsurprisingly, Sergio Garcia has been absolutely hammered as a result of his behaviour this week.
Starting to think Sergio Garcia might be a crappy person https://t.co/aBbaXNmI2k
— Rory Tracker (@RoryTrackr) September 10, 2022
Sergio Garcia showed utter contempt to @DPWorldTour players by posing for a photo at US college football game after withdrawing from @BMWPGA following the opening round. How can someone who was a legend in European golf lose all respect for being so utterly selfish! #sad
— Martin Dempster (@DempsterMartin) September 10, 2022
Disappointed in Sergio Garcia this week. Had a chance to go out and prove he’s still a competitor. Instead he played terribly then quit. Pathetic.
— Matt Vincenzi (@MattVincenziPGA) September 10, 2022
Jon Rahm told me on Tuesday it was particularly personal for him that certain players were in the field this week as his good friend Alfredo García-Heredia was first reserve. Had Sergio García withdrawn before his opening round rather than after it, AGH would have played. https://t.co/6NYqGPBnc4
— Jamie Weir (@jamiecweir) September 10, 2022
Sergio Garcia is a 42 year old petulant brat. https://t.co/LqPSQfsmp8
— Michael (@Schmutzie_) September 10, 2022
This is the type of behaviour that has really rubbed people up the wrong way when it comes to LIV Golf.
Those who moved to the Saudi venture were perfectly entitled to do so, but they also feel that they have a right to have their cake and eat it when it comes to playing on the traditional tours. They insist in taking part in such tournaments, taking the place of players who need those spots in order to attempt to make a living from the sport.
If the animosity towards LIV players wasn't already at a precipice, Sergio Garcia's actions are likely to tip things over the edge.