It has been an eventful few days ahead of the start of the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club.
On Wednesday, the world woke up to the news of a ill-founded comment from Sergio Garcia, directed at Tiger Woods.
Below is a timeline of events from the last two days:
12pm – Paul McGinley announces he’ll have three captain’s picks for the 2014 Ryder Cup, and that five team members will come off the World Points List.
“Like it or not, we have to acknowledge the fact that most of the best Europeans are based in America,” he says.
1pm – R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson announces, concurrently with a USGA press conference in America, that rule 14-1b prohibiting anchored strokes will be enforced from January 2016.
1.30 – The PGA Tour, which previously voiced its opposition to the proposed rule change, releases a statement, saying: “We will now begin our process to ascertain whether the various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions and, if so, examine the process for implementation.”
2pm – Sergio Garcia says: “I stand behind the decision of the R&A and USGA and I think we should all do the same thing.”
3.30pm – Martin Kaymer backs the new Ryder Cup qualification criteria and, after admitting he doesn’t feel the anchored putter provides any advantage, says: “I’m glad we don’t have to talk about that anymore.”
7pm – Players gather for the European Tour Players’ Awards. Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy back the anchored putter ban; Lee Westwood claims indifference
9.30pm – Sergio Garcia, when asked if he’d have Tiger Woods round for dinner at the Open, replies: “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”
12.55 – Sergio Garcia issues an apology for his comment, saying: “In no way was it meant in a racist manner.”
11am – Lee Westwood says at BMW PGA press conference: “It’s just an awkward situation where they obviously don’t get on. I’ve got no interest in getting in the middle of that relationship, if there is one.”
11.30am – Ernie Els says he’ll abide by the R&A and USGA anchored putter ruling but admits “it’s a huge issue.” He also says he thinks the PGA tour will ‘play ball’, but that some players will inevitably seek legal advice.
1.45pm – Rory McIlroy says at BMW PGA press conference: “I think Sergio really does regret what he said and he’s truly sorry for it.” The Ulsterman also refuses to comment on his reported split from Horizon Sports Managament.
2pm – Tiger Woods tweets: “The comment that was made wasn’t silly, it was wrong, hurtful and inappropriate.”
2.15pm – At a hastily organised press conference, Garcia says: “”I want to give an unreserved apology. I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I was caught off guard, but my answer was totally stupid and out of place. I’d like to say sorry to the European Tour, my Ryder Cup team mates and to Tiger. I feel sick about it, I’m truly, truly sorry.”
2.30pm – Justin Rose says at BMW PGA press conference: “Sergio has a big heart, and, as we’ve seen over the years, he’s excitable as well. So you know, you love him and sometimes it can also get in his way, unfortunately.”
3pm – Luke Donald says at BMW PGA press conference: “I saw Sergio this morning and he was certainly full of regret. We all know Sergio, sometimes he says his mind and doesn’t have that filter, unfortunately.”