Sergio Garcia’s frustration over a ruling on a lost ball in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Thursday might have caused him to reveal where he’s soon headed.
After driving his tee shot on the 10th hole into a hazard at TPC Potomac in Potomac, Maryland, Garcia became frustrated with a PGA Tour rules official who assessed him a penalty for taking too much time while trying to find his ball. Players are allotted three minutes to find lost balls once they arrive at the vicinity of where it landed. Garcia argued that he hadn’t started searching until he crossed a river.
“You want me to swim through the river?” Garcia asked the rules official. “I wasn’t looking for the ball there. I was looking for the ball once I got onto this side. Does that make sense?”
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After losing the argument, Garcia waved his hand in disgust and said, “I can’t wait to leave this tour. … I can’t wait to get out of here, my friend.”
After walking through the waist-high grass a little longer, Garcia said, “A couple of more weeks, I don’t have to deal with you anymore.”
Later Thursday, the PGA Tour clarified in a statement that after a video review it was determined that the search time clock should have been paused as “Garcia spent a considerable amount of time trying to access the other side of the creek” but that that was not in clear view of the referee.
“To clarify, the time spent by Garcia trying to access the other side of the creek should have delayed the start of the search time clock, and the ball would have still been ‘in play’ if not for that error,” the PGA Tour said.
Garcia was informed of these developments after his round, the PGA Tour said, but under the Rules of Golf, his score does not change despite the clarification.
Garcia, a 42-year-old player from Spain, is one of a handful of international players who have been linked to the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is being fronted by Greg Norman, a two-time winner of The Open.
The first LIV Golf Invitational event is scheduled for June 9-11 at the Centurion Club outside London.
Garcia, who has won 11 times on the PGA Tour and captured his only major championship victory at the 2017 Masters, hasn’t confirmed whether he has asked the PGA Tour for a release to compete in the London event. He has made more than $54 million on tour.
Garcia declined to talk with reporters after shooting 3-under 67 in the first round Thursday.
On Wednesday, Englishman Lee Westwood confirmed to Sky Sports that he has asked the PGA Tour and DP World Tour for releases to compete in London. Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson and Robert Garrigus also have confirmed asking for a release from the PGA Tour.
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