AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Faced with choosing between the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour or the final Ryder Cup qualifying event on the European Tour, Sergio Garcia reached a surprising decision.
He’s not playing either.
Garcia said Sunday he plans to take a two-month break after the PGA Championship next week, not returning to competition until the end of October at the Castellon Masters on his home course in Spain.
“It’s been a long year,” Garcia said after a 70 in the Bridgestone Invitational. “I haven’t had a nice, long break my whole career.”
The only event that could get in the way of that break is the Ryder Cup.
Getting on the team would seem to be a long shot.
Garcia, who has not won in nearly two years, likely would have to finish among the top three in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits to have any chance of qualifying for the team on the European points list, which is based on tour earnings. Otherwise, he would need captain Colin Montgomerie to use one of his three wild-card picks on him.
“I’ve talked to him,” Garcia said. “He knows what I’m planning to do.”
The 30-year-old Spaniard has competed on every Ryder Cup team since he was a 19-year-old at Brookline in 1999. Garcia has a career record of 14-6-4 in the Ryder Cup, and he has never lost a foursomes match.
This year, however, has left Montgomerie with Europe’s strongest collection of players ever. The group in the running for the three picks could include Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Martin Kaymer.
Garcia didn’t seem bothered. He has played only 17 times this year, with his best finish losing in the semifinals of the Match Play Championship in Arizona at the start of the year.
“I need the break,” Garcia said. “I need to miss the game a little bit.”
The only other tournament he has planned this year is the Australian Masters in Melbourne in November.
Adam Scott recalls a few years ago when he felt as though he was getting nowhere and needed a break. Told of Garcia’s decision, he thought it was a good move.
“It’s so hard not to play when you’re a competitor because that’s what you’ve done your whole life,” Scott said. “Good for Sergio. We have a 30-year career out here. Two months is not much time at all.”