Sergio Garcia to Bench Himself After PGA
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Over the past year or so, Sergio Garcia hasn’t looked happy on the golf course. In fact, you might say he’s seemed downright miserable. With little chance of making the Ryder Cup team (and lack of desire even to play in it), he announced on Sunday that he plans to take a two-month break from golf after this week’s PGA Championship.

He was faced with the decision whether to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs or the final Ryder Cup qualifying tournament on the European Tour and he decided to sit both out. His next event will be the Castellon Masters at his home course in Spain at the end of October.

Via the AP:

“It’s been a long year,” Garcia said after a 70 in the Bridgestone Invitational. “I haven’t had a nice, long break my whole career.”

The only event that could get in the way of that break is the Ryder Cup.

Getting on the team would seem to be a long shot.

Garcia, who has not won in nearly two years, likely would have to finish among the three in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits to have any chance of qualifying for the team on the European points list, which is based on tour earnings. Otherwise, he would need captain Colin Montgomerie to use one of his three wild-card picks on him.

“I’ve talked to him,” Garcia said. “He knows what I’m planning to do.”

The 30-year-old Spaniard has competed on every Ryder Cup team since he was a 19-year-old at Brookline in 1999. Garcia has a career record of 14-6-4 in the Ryder Cup, and he has never lost a foursomes match.

With the deep collection of Europeans this year, chances are Garcia won’t be playing in the Ryder Cup — even with his stellar record. Good for him to recognize that he needs a break. If his heart isn’t in it, then it can be harmful in the long-term. Though he’s only 30, he’s already a veteran on Tour. And with a long career ahead of him, two months accounts for little time.

Hopefully he’ll return recharged for the few events he has left in 2010 — or more important, he’ll come back in 2011 with a fresh outlook and start winning again.

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)