- Ryder Cup
Honourable Garcia states priorities
The Ryder Cup gets underway at Medinah Country Club on September 28. ESPN will have extensive coverage of the event - including interactive text commentary, reports and reaction - for all three days.
Sergio Garcia says the prestige of taking part in the Ryder Cup and winning the competition with Europe far outweighs any financial gain.
Speaking in the lead-up to the 2012 Ryder Cup Garcia, who decided to forego the potential chance of a $10 million winning bonus by opting out of the second of the FedEx play-offs, said that the obsession with prize money was something that "p***es me off".
Garcia, still the youngest player to have competed in the Ryder Cup, chose instead to free up his schedule before the Ryder Cup so that he could arrive refreshed and fully focused at Medinah for the 39th edition of the famous event.
"The Ryder Cup means more and that is why I took the week off," Garcia was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
"I knew I had a chance in the play-offs but I know what is important to me.
"I really wanted to feel 100% going into the Ryder Cup with the right energy. I didn't want to be playing seven out of eight weeks and then playing the Ryder Cup. It would have been too much.
"Everybody knows how much it means to me - I don't care about the money. Fortunately my future is set no matter what, even if I quit playing golf."
He continued: "That is one thing that - and I will say it clearly - p***es me off. Everyone just looks at the money, the money, the money. And that is not the reason I play.
"I am not standing over a putt and thinking, 'If I get this, I make 100,000 more'. Most of the time when I win, until I get the cheque, I don't know what I have won. I just play and if I win, I put it in the bank.
"The Ryder Cup was my main aim this year and I'm really looking forward to it."
After contributing to the 2010 Ryder Cup success for Europe in a vice-captain capacity, Garcia is eager to get out on course and influence the outcome with a club in his hand this time around.
"It was hard to be there and not be able to hit a shot," he said. "I knew I wasn't going to be a vice-captain again. It was either be there as a player or watch it at home on TV."
Garcia was heading out for practice on the Medinah Country Club course on Tuesday morning as the European team began its preparations for the commencement of the opening day's action on Friday.
Garcia was grouped with Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Paul Lawrie, while the two other groups of four consisted of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Justin Rose, and Peter Hanson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Francesco Molinari and Martin Kaymer.
The American squad, playing about an hour behind their opponents, went out in a similar formation. Phil MIckelson was partnered with Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, while Jason Dufner headed the second fourball with Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, went out with FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, regular team format partner Steve Stricker and wildcard selection Jim Furyk.