One day after he was disqualified for a serious breach of etiquette, Sergio Garcia will reportedly not face further punishment after the European Tour deemed the matter closed.
Garcia was disqualified following the third round of the inaugural Saudi International under Rule 1.2a, which allows for disqualification for “any serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.” Garcia later apologized for damaging “a couple of greens,” with subsequent reports indicating the actual number of damaged greens was five.
According to a report from The Scotsman, the damage was a mix of deliberate “scuff marks” and a divot hole on the sixth green that was still visible after the final round:
Amid speculation that Garcia could face a suspension from the Tour, the report indicates that Garcia will not be punished beyond the disqualification after apologizing both publicly and to some of the players in the groups behind him who had alerted rules officials to the damaged greens.
“The incident is over,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley. “We have dealt with it. Sergio has apologized to the players and we move on.”
Garcia’s third-round playing partner, Renato Paratore, told The Scotsman that the Spaniard apologized for his behavior, and Robert Rock defended Garcia ahead of the final round.
“It was scuff marks and also a mark that appeared to have been made by what looked to have been a putter,” Rock said. “Like everyone else, I did not know who it was. I wasn’t sure if it was one person or more people. I have spoken to Sergio about it. He faced up to it and we are fine. Everyone makes a mistake at some point.”