Rory McIlroy has warned Sergio Garcia not to hide behind his nationality or his problems away from the course to try to excuse the petulance in purposefully damaging greens at the Saudi Arabia International earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Garcia finally faced the media following a fortnight’s silence after being disqualified from the European Tour event for “serious misconduct”. He apologised – as he had already via a statement and then a social media post – but also revealed that “emotional personal news” was partly responsible for a meltdown unprecedented in the sport’s top-flight. As well as that, the 39-year-old referenced his fiery Spanish temperament.
But McIlroy, a close friend of Garcia’s, is not prepared to accept these as mitigating factors. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from – it’s not acceptable,” McIlroy said. “And if you’ve got stuff bothering you, let the course be your sanctuary. I’ve had to deal with that in the past.”
In 2014 he went through a high-profile break-up with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki but still managed to win the BMW PGA Championship a week after he called off the wedding. Garcia has yet to reveal the issues which he claims are going on in the background.