Golf

Sergio Garcia, after run-ins with fans and officials over slow play, fails to qualify for British Open

Sergio Garcia, after run-ins with fans and officials over slow play, fails to qualify for British Open

Sergio Garcia was fuming on Tuesday afternoon at West Lancashire Golf Club in Liverpool.

The LIV Golf star, who got into it with officials over a slow-play warning he didn’t think was fair, just barely missed out on qualifying for the British Open.

Garcia posted a 71 and a 70 in his two rounds on Tuesday in England at one of the four qualifying spots for the final major championship of the season. That brought him to 3-under on the day and into a T6 finish, though he was two shots shy of earning one of the four bids available for the British Open.

Garcia got into it with R&A officials at one point on the eighth fairway during his first round after receiving a warning for slow play, something that was apparently happening all morning. Garcia said he had to repeatedly wait for fans to get out of the way, which slowed his group down.

“You’re right, we’re always wrong,” Garcia was heard yelling back at an official.

While cameras weren’t on him during the entire round, the scene as he walked up to the 18th green was very chaotic for a golf tournament.

"The marshals were trying to do the best job they could do, but obviously, we had to stop pretty much on every tee for two to three minutes to hit our tee shots because people were walking in front of the tee and on the fairway," Garcia said, via ESPN.

"Unless we wanted to start hitting people, we couldn't hit. I don't think they took that into account, and that was unfortunate. It made us rush."

Either way, Garcia still came up short. England’s Sam Horsfield and amateur Matthew Dodd-Berry each shot 6-under to win the qualifier and earn a spot in the major. Daniel Brown and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura tied for third at 5-under to take the final two spots.

Garcia has won 11 times in his career on the PGA Tour before he made the jump to LIV Golf. His only major championship win came at the Masters in 2017. The Spaniard has won 16 times on the DP World Tour, but he’s plummeted to No. 312 in the Official World Golf Rankings since leaving for the Saudi Arabian-backed tour — which still doesn’t earn OWGR points at its tournaments.

Garcia just barely made it into the U.S. Open last month as an alternate. The British Open would have been his 100th career major. He’s come close to winning the British Open twice in his career, first in 2007 when he fell to Padraig Harrington in a playoff, and again in 2014 when he finished in second behind Rory McIlroy.

"I come here and I try my hardest to get into The Open," Garcia said. "It would be nice to make The Open my 100th major, but it was tough conditions and sometimes things don't go your way. … I tried everything that I could and that's all I can ask myself for."

Justin Rose and Abraham Ancer were the two other big LIV Golf members who earned a spot in the British Open through a qualifier on Tuesday.

The British Open will kick off at Royal Troon on July 18. Only 10 spots in the field remain, including two from the John Deere Classic this week on the PGA Tour and three from the Scottish Open next week.

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