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Garcia disqualified in Saudi Arabia for damaging greens

The world No. 27, the Masters champion in 2017, shot a round of one-over par 71, but is believed to have damaged a couple of greens at the Royal Greens Golf Club during that effort after slamming his putter in frustration.

Sergio Garcia of Spain plays his shot during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club on 24 January 2019 in Dubai. Picture: AFP

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY - Spain's Sergio Garcia was disqualified from the inaugural Saudi International on Saturday for serious misconduct.

The world No. 27, the Masters champion in 2017, shot a round of one-over par 71, but is believed to have damaged a couple of greens at the Royal Greens Golf Club during that effort after slamming his putter in frustration.

Garcia thus became the first player on the European Tour to be disqualified under Rule 1.2a, which deals with conduct expected from players. The rule declares that "players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by acting with integrity, showing consideration to others and taking good care of the course."

Garcia apologised for his behaviour and said in a statement released by the Tour: "I respect the decision of my disqualification.

"In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologise, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again."

While the Tour did not mention the holes on which Garcia hit his putter on the greens, some players reported deep indentation marks on a couple of holes, including the seventh.

Garcia was playing with Italy’s Renato Paratore, and was later seen involved in long discussions with the Tour officials, including chief executive Keith Pelley.

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