LOS ANGELES (Swing Update) – Sergio Garcia apologized in a statement and in person to his group's players when he damaged five greens of Saudi Arabia. He apologized in a message posted on social media and in an interview granted to his locker Wednesday in Riviera.
This was the easy part. He has had a lot of experience over the years.
Garcia said the challenge now is to make sure it does not happen again, knowing that his behavior will be scrutinized more closely than ever before.
"I'm sure I'll hear it throughout the year," Garcia told The Associated Press during his first interview as he had been disqualified on Feb. 2 for the damage done to five green by frustration at the start of the third round.
"My job is to make sure that I treat with the best possible way and that I show them that I can grow, that I can go ahead and that I can be who I am in the right way. ", did he declare. "I want to face my mistakes head-on. My job is to go out and enjoy my game and show everyone that, whatever it is, I can be the wisest guy in the class. … I just hope to be able to maintain their respect.
The Genesis Open is its first event since the loss of his head at the start of the third round of Saudi Arabia, which he attributes to a personal problem that put him in a bad mood early this week and green at the Royal Greens of Saudi Arabia which was new, grainy and slow.
He did not disclose the personal case and said it was not an excuse, and that he knew immediately that he had acted badly.
"That hit me like at the 10th hole. I started thinking, "What am I doing? Put your head on your shoulders, "said Garcia. "I know I lost it."
The 39-year-old Spaniard has expressed his emotions since becoming a professional in 1999 at age 19, challenged Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship in Medinah and played in the first of nine Ryder Cups.
He had a great passion when he won the Masters in 2017 for his first major. But the explosive and petulant variety has been seen much more often over the years, whether it's an uprising that almost hit an official in Wentworth in 2000, accusing a European Tour official of inflicting a penalty of two strokes in Australia or accusing Woods of disturbing the gallery at TPC Sawgrass, a breach that resulted in Garcia making an insensitive racist comment about him.
Green damage in the middle of a round, which affected the players behind him, even surprised his friends.
"We still think he's recovering, but there is no doubt that he behaves this way," said Adam Scott, one of his closest friends. golf. "He said that he needed to understand his emotions and better channel that. I am not a psychologist and I do not know how to do that, but I think it is a good thing for him. The game can sometimes defeat us. He seems to have more of the upper hand than others.
Garcia's disqualification – the European Tour said he would not be suspended – put an end to a string of seven consecutive top 10 in the world, which began when he was selected for the Ryder Cup in France. He went 3-1-0 for the week at the National Golf.
His game was in shape. He now has a reputation to repair.
"I feel bad about it," Garcia said. "I've been thinking about it for a week, every day. I am an emotional player. This emotion is probably my greatest strength, but it's also one of my biggest faults. If I channel it correctly, it's amazing. I think that's why people follow me as they do. If I misinterpret it, it's too extreme. My goal is to make sure the bad gets better and the good ones stay. "
Rory McIlroy, another of his close friends, said that being Spanish and full of emotion was "no excuse" for what Garcia did in Saudi Arabia.
"It does not matter where you come from, it's not acceptable," said McIlroy, "If you have any concerns, let the course become your sanctuary." I had to deal with this in the past . "
Brooks Koepka, three-time major champion, said that "the incident in Saudi Arabia was playing": "Sergio behaves like a child".
"You're 40, so you have to grow up one day," said Koepka.
Garcia pondered what he would say to Koepka when he saw him next week in the Mexican league.
"I'll tell him that I agree," Garcia said. "I am the first to say that I was wrong. I agree with what he said. That's why we're here to improve, grow and become better people. "
He paused and smiled before adding, "But I do not agree with age. He is deceived of age. I'm 39, not 40. So I have a year to progress, "said Garcia. "But when I see him, I'll tell him I agree and I'm sorry about what happened. And I understand why he said that.