Instead of teeing it up here this week in the European Tour's most prestigious event, Sergio Garcia chose to start a two-week vacation by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
Yesterday it should only have been his ears that were ringing after a verbal attack by Thomas Björn that all but told the Spaniard that if he is prepared to turn his back on his home tour then his home tour should be prepared to turn its back on him.
"Players shouldn't expect any favours when it comes to the Ryder Cup if they can't come back once every year and play in this tournament - because this is our biggest tournament," said the Dane, not referring to Garcia directly by name, but El Nino's five-year absence from the PGA Championship leaves no uncertainty as to where the bulk of the charge was being levelled.
"Any European-born player should play here. And for them it should be their duty to come back and play one week a year because the European tour has done more for them than they think. If you don't show any interest in the tour, don't expect the tour to show any interest in you. After the four majors and three World Golf Championships events, you only need to play four regular European Tour events to be a member. Do you want to be able to play in America all your life and still feature on our money list? Well, you've got to play in Europe if you want to be on our money list and if you want to be part of the European Ryder Cup team you've got to play in Europe."
One of Björn's main gripes with Garcia and to a lesser extent, Bernhard Langer - last year's Europe captain, who together with the 25-year-old were the only members of the victorious Ryder Cup team not on the top table at the Tour's annual gala dinner here on Tuesday night - is the red carpet that is unfurled whenever these exiles deem to appear in Europe.
"It's like some players feel like when they come back from America they need to be treated as even bigger stars than some players on this Tour, well, that's just not the case," said Björn, who was one of Langer's assistants at Oakland Hills.Reuse content