Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Garcia Deserves Stiffer Sanctions for Damage

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Garcia Deserves Stiffer Sanctions for Damage

Article excerpt

Golf's attempt to simplify its rules and make the game less burdensome already HAS had the opposite effect. Let's hope one rule, though, remains unchanged and is enforced to its maximum limit.

Sergio Garcia's temper tantrum last week in Saudi Arabia, when he deliberately damaged five greens (not just one or two) in a fit of unprovoked anger, is more than just a violation of Rule 1.2a, which prohibits inflicted damage to the course.

It is more than just childish, petulant and bizarre behavior that would be embarrassing for a weekend hacker, let alone a renowned world-class player and Masters champion.

What Garcia did in the third round of the Saudi International was disrespectful, not just to the players in the field and even the course superintendent, but also criminal in its intent and shockingly disgraceful.

To damage one putting green is bad enough. But five? Vandals don't cause that much damage. Brooks Koepka, the reigning U.S. Open and PGA champion who was in the field, said Garcia "acted like a child."

Granted, an angry outburst by a PGA Tour player -any player -is nothing new. There have been plenty of players at the highest level who have thrown clubs, bent putters and planted an iron in the turf. Rory McIlroy even heaved his fairway metal into the lake at Doral after a poor approach shot a couple of years ago.

But those acts look about as mean as failing to repair a ball mark compared to what Garcia did.

A 37-time winner around the world, Garcia was disqualified after the third round for "serious misconduct," the first player to be disqualified for that reason on the European Tour. The tour cited Rule 1.2a, which states "players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by acting with integrity, showing consideration to others and taking good care of the course."

Failure to do so gives the committee the authority "to disqualify a player for any serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.