Sergio Garcia will not play in the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake after failing to qualify for the event. He finished in a tie for sixth in the qualifying tournament at West Lancashire Golf Club. It was an agonizing finish to the Spaniard’s round as the top five places all secured their playing privileges at Royal Liverpool. It is a significant development as the 43-year-old will now miss playing in the Open Championship for the first time in 25 years.
The show goes on without Garcia
Instead, Spain’s hope will fall on Jon Rahm who features as one of the best prices in the latest golf betting this week after being allocated odds of +1100 to win the Claret Jug. Rahm is, of course, a close friend of Garcia’s and has previously spoken of his frustration around Garcia’s omission from tournaments like The Open after joining LIV Golf.
Europe’s best player is now persona non grata
Rahm was always going to be vocal on Garcia’s behalf about the criteria to qualify as the pair bonded during the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in 2021. On that occasion, the Spanish duo delivered three points for Europe after being paired together. Keep in mind that the European team could only muster nine points during the entire week which speaks volumes about how impressive Garcia’s and Rahm’s contribution was during a losing cause. Admittedly, this was always the theme for Garcia when he pulled on Europe’s ionic colors given that with 28.5 total career points to his name, the Borriol-born golfer is the continent’s best-ever Ryder Cup player.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 24, 2021
As his unmatched numbers allude to, Garcia had been a faithful servant to European golf up until 2022. Furthermore, it was only six years ago that the Spaniard was awarded life membership of the European Tour. However, after resigning from the tour in May 2023, and moving on to LIV Golf, Garcia now finds himself outside a world that he has been an influential figure in for almost three decades.
Although the reality of the Spaniard’s situation wouldn’t have hit home as hard as it has done now on account of being able to qualify for events he was ineligible to compete in. It was only last month that Garcia successfully qualified to play in the US Open at The Los Angeles Country Club after finishing tied fourth at a 36-hole event hosted by both Northwood Club and Bent Tree Country Club in Texas. Achieving this feat meant that Garica played in his 24th consecutive US Open and would have given him the expectation that he could do it again in July before The Open.
Vamos!!! ?? pic.twitter.com/wTeUGLXnnG
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) June 15, 2023
It wasn’t to be and for the first time in a quarter of a century, there will be no sight of Garcia at golf’s oldest major.
Will Garcia have any regrets?
Instead, the 43-year-old’s private jet took him back across the pond and home to America after an underwhelming week in North-West England. Would the Spanaird have wondered on the way home whether it was worth accepting a check for $40 million to join LIV at the expense of playing in The Open? Perhaps, but probably not for long.