‘I received some very emotional, personal news earlier that week that didn’t help’: Sergio Garcia opens up on his Saudi Arabia meltdown
- Sergio Garcia has talked publicly about his meltdown in Saudi Arabia
- The Spaniard damaged five greens and was disqualified for serious misconduct
- He has revealed that personal news affected his approach to the tournament
Sergio Garcia’s meltdown in Saudi Arabia recently was so extraordinary it led many to wonder whether there was more to it than he revealed in his two subsequent apologies on social media.
Speaking publicly here for the first time about the incident on the eve of the Genesis Open on Wednesday, the volatile Spaniard was far more forthcoming and appeared genuinely contrite.
‘I received some very emotional, personal news earlier that week that didn’t help, and it was in the back of my mind,’ he said, without going into details about the personal matter.
Sergio Garcia has spoken publicly about his Saudi Arabia meltdown for the first time
‘As I became frustrated on the course, everything erupted.’
He can say that again. A day after an astonishing temper tantrum in a bunker, he vandalized five greens, one so badly that he left a divot in the putting surface.
He became the first player in the history of the European Tour to be disqualified for such serious misconduct.
Garcia admitted he knew he had lost the plot on the course.
‘It hit me on the 10th hole,’ he said. ‘I started thinking: “What am I doing? Get your head back on top of your shoulders.”‘
He knows he will need his head in the right place from now on to win back the respect of his peers.
World number two Brooks Koepka, not known for his outspokenness, summed up the outrage felt by his fellow pros when he said: ‘He’s got to stop acting like a child. He’s 40 years old, surely he will grow up eventually.’
Garcia responded: ‘When I next see Brooks I am going to tell him that I agree with him. I feel terrible about it. My job now is to make sure I deal with it in the best way possible, and show them that I can grow and move forward.
Sergio Garcia apologised on Twitter for his behaviour during the event in Saudi Arabia
‘I want to face my mistakes head on. My job is to go out there and show that I can be the best behaved guy in the classroom. I just hope I can maintain their respect.’
Garcia concluded his eye-opening mea culpa with a nice line in self-deprecation.
‘Brooks got my age wrong,’ he said. ‘I’m 39, not 40. So, I have a year to show him I can grow up.’
A bigger problem going forward might be with the American crowds, who have given him plenty of stick over the years for his earlier transgressions.
He goes out in the first round today alongside American Keegan Bradley and Korean Sangmoon Bae.
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