Tuesday 19 March 2019

'It's not acceptable' - Rory McIlroy slams pal Sergio Garcia for Saudi meltdown

Rory McIlroy with Sergio Garcia during Ryder Cup
Rory McIlroy with Sergio Garcia during Ryder Cup
Sergio Garcia: ‘I’m an emotional player. That emotion is my biggest strength, but it’s also one of my biggest flaws’. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy believes Sergio Garcia's latin temperament is no excuse for his shocking Saudi Arabia meltdown and encouraged his Ryder Cup team-mate to use the golf course as his "sanctuary".

The Spaniard (39) was disqualified after damaging five greens during the Saudi International on February 2 and while he escaped further punishment from the European Tour, his colleagues have taken him to task.

"It doesn't matter where you're from. It's not acceptable," McIlroy said at this week's weather-delayed Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

"If you've got stuff bothering you, let the course be your sanctuary. I've had to deal with that in the past."

Garcia is contrite and knows he has to change after multiple incidents throughout his career.

"I feel terrible about it," Garcia said. "I've been thinking about it for the last week, every day. I'm an emotional player. That emotion is probably my biggest strength, but it's also one of my biggest flaws."

Garcia has been apologising to his peers in person and admitted that US Open and US PGA champion Brooks Koepka was right to say the Saudi incident was "Sergio acting like a child."

Over an inch of rain hit Riviera Country Club yesterday and PGA Tour officials cancelled the first round scores with the afternoon wave featuring Garcia, McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Seamus Power facing a long wait.

Just ten groups teed off before bad weather made the course unplayable and after suspending play, officials planned to try and restart the tournament in the afternoon.

There were no weather problems at the Sunshine Tour's Dimension Data Pro-Am where Team Ireland's Neil O'Briain opened with a bogey-free 67 on the testing, par-73 Links at Fancourt to share fourth place on six-under.

"They're all tough golf courses, but we were lucky on The Links today because the wind wasn't very strong," said O'Briain, who finished the day three shots behind Riekus Nortje, who shot a 63 on the Montagu.

At the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, Michael Hoey credited coach Seamus Duffy for getting his swing back into the groove as he opened with a four-under 68 to share fifth place heading into this morning's second round. Genesis Open,

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ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth,

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