LIV golfer Sergio Garcia quits Ryder Cup because he 'loves it too much'

LIV Golf recruit Sergio Garcia said he won't be a part of next year's Ryder Cup because he would rather opt out if some members of the team are against him playing.

Garcia's Ryder Cup pedigree is evident when you consider he is the tournament's all-time leading points scorer, but the Spaniard elected to skip next week's Mallorca Open on the DP World Tour, which would have been his fourth event of the year, allowing him to retain his tour card and remain eligible for the biennial match play competition.

That means that even if the breakaway LIV golfers are successful in their legal bid to remain members of the DP World Tour in February of next year, Garcia will no longer be a member and will not be considered for Ryder Cup selection - though he will still be eligible to play in events due to his top-40 status on the career money-list charts.

While there was no guarantee Garcia would have made next year's Ryder Cup team, his stellar record would certainly have put him in the reckoning, so it couldn't have been an easy decision to cut ties with the team. No doubt the money he was paid to join the Saudi-led LIV Golf circuit - believed to be upwards of £40million - has also helped ease the pain.

But Garcia said he loves the European team too much to be a source of acrimony, after several members of the European team - Rory McIlroy included - made it clear they would not want LIV players to be part of the mix.

"I obviously would love to keep being a part of it, but when I see that so many people are against [me playing]… well, if the team is better without me, I'd rather be out of it," Garcia said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "Unfortunately it doesn't feel like I'm very welcome on that Tour, so I don't want to be a bother to anyone.

"There's obviously several guys who feel strongly that way. Tour is of the same thought. So I don't want to be something that might hurt the team. I love the Ryder Cup too much. Obviously it's sad for me but that's the way they want it. I'm just helping out."

Garcia has had a long and close relationship with European captain Luke Donald but said he would not want to put the Englishman in an uncomfortable position.

"I've talked to him, but Luke is in a tough situation," Garcia said. "He's the captain, but at the same time he has to look at all the players, what they're thinking and what they're feeling. Also the Tour. It's a tough spot for him."

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