By Joel Beall
Sergio Garcia will be returning to the site of his infamous bunker meltdown.
According to reports from the Telegraph and ESPN, Garcia is scheduled to play in the 2020 Saudi International. At last year’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia, Garcia was disqualified when European Tour officials deemed the Spaniard had committed “serious misconduct” under Rule 1.2a during the third round at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Garcia was accused by fellow golfers playing in groups behind him of purposely hitting his putter into the greens on a handful of holes, causing damage to the putting surfaces.
Not helping matters was video of a separate incident from the day before, which showed Garcia taking his frustrations out in a greenside bunker.
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 apologized for his actions and avoided further suspension. However, later episodes in the season— including a club throw at his caddie at Royal Portrush and a temper tantrum in Memphis—kept Garcia’s bunker theatrics in the news.
The Telegraph and ESPN report that Garcia, as part of a stipulation from the European Tour following last year’s disqualification, will waive his appearance fee to play in Saudi Arabia. Garcia reportedly received $650,000 for the 2019 Saudi International, which he was able to keep. A Golf Digest request for comment to Garcia’s representatives has not been returned.
Garcia joins Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Shane Lowry as major winners committed to the event.