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Golfer's Temper Tantrum Earns Rare Penalty

Sergio Garcia is disqualified from tournament after damaging multiple greens
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2019 9:35 AM CST
Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a shot in the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Jan. 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

(Newser) – Pro golfer Sergio Garcia had a rotten day on the course Saturday. Just ask the golfers who had to play behind him—on the greens he damaged in anger. The Scotsman reports that Garcia damaged no fewer than six greens at the inaugural Saudi International, a feat that got him booted from the European Tour event. It's the first such disqualification in tour history. The 39-year-old left a divot in one of the greens after slamming his putter and damaged five others by dragging his golf shoe across the surface. Players in groups behind him complained about the state of the greens, and Garcia was soon identified as the culprit. "I respect the decision of my disqualification," Garcia said. "In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologize, and I have informed my fellow players that it will never happen again."

As SB Nation notes, Garcia has a history of petulant behavior, though mainly from his younger days. But the Spaniard was clearly back to his old ways throughout the Saudi tournament. This video from Round 2 shows him having a temper tantrum in a sand trap. Garcia had been one of several big-name golfers who received a handsome fee just to show up and play in the tournament, and the Scotsman reports it doesn't look like he was asked to return any part of it. "Frustration is part of golf," but "damaging the golf course is unacceptable," writes Brian Mull at Forbes. "Garcia again behaved like a spoiled teenager rather than a seasoned professional." (Read more Sergio Garcia stories.)

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