Sergio Garcia was disqualified from the inaugural Saudi International on Saturday for conduct unbecoming of a professional.
In a statement of apology written at the European Tour's behest, Garcia admitted to damaging several greens on host Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in frustration during the round.
In a statement, Garcia said: “I respect the decision of my disqualification. In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologize for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”
Garcia was disqualified under Rule 1.2a, which allows blanket disqualification if a player commits a serious breach of the Rules of Golf. However, reports suggest Garcia didn't damage just "a couple" of greens; with Martin Dempster of the Scotsman reporting Garcia damaged five greens before he was disqualified.
— Martin Dempster (@DempsterMartin) February 2, 2019
Footage of Garcia damaging the greens in question does not appear to have aired during broadcast of the third round of the controversial tournament. However, Garcia began expressing deep frustration on the golf course in the second round when he received a particularly bad lie in a bunker on the par-5 fourth. The Spaniard blamed whoever raked the bunker previously for the bad lie.
Sergio Garcia’s meltdown in a Royal Greens bunker a day prior to his disqualification for vandalism work on five greens. Story by @SkySportsGolf fills in details. Translations welcomed! https://t.co/UoGmPtTOz4 pic.twitter.com/dQMDN7y2PC
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) February 4, 2019
Garcia didn't escape the bunker with the third shot before eventually getting in for a 5. Garcia made multiple angry swipes at the bunker in frustration, and then he bogeyed two of his final four holes to barely get through to the weekend.