Sergio, you are unlikely to read these lines. Even less than they touched. But know that it was written by your biggest fan who lives in France. Or rather your biggest ex-fan…
Masters. 23 of the “Top Ten” in the major (yes, yes 23!). Players Championship. Eleven titles on the PGA Tour. Sixteen successes on the European circuit. And above all, above all: 28.5 Ryder Cup points, the absolute record. This is perhaps the most slapped number when you evaluate your career, Sergio: 28.5 points in the most exciting, important, most demanding and most intimidating competition in golf.
From your glamorous first steps at the event in 1999 and your cheer-filled victories with Jesper Parnevik, you’ve become my idol on the greens. Your energy, your team spirit, your dream little game: I loved everything about you when you wore the yellow and blue jersey.
In doubles, I’ve won matches with different players, from all walks of life, with disparate personalities: Swedes Barnivik or Noren, England’s Westwood or Donald, Spaniards Olazbal, Cabrera Bello or Ram, Northern Irishman McIlroy.
Everyone has won a match, often several, by your side. Thanks to your game and also and above all thanks to the passion of the Ryder Cup that you were able to pass on to them.
These glorious elders
For that, you were the worthy heir to the old Severiano Ballesteros, the hero who changed the Ryder Cup, the hero you say you admire. Therefore, European golf owes you a lot. enormously. So, I loved you and followed you on all the stadiums, on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and even the Asian Tour occasionally.
So, I forgive you a lot. your defeats on the brink of death In major, such cruelty from Carnoustie in 2007 at The Open vs. Padraig Harrington.
Ten years later, on Rescue Masters Day 2017, I almost cried happily. Your athletic failures in pursuit of the Grand Slam were almost part of getting attached to you.
I also forgive you for your transgressions. your skateboarding.
A very limited comment on Tiger Woods in 2013? Forgive me the thought of going back to your last win over Jim Forek in the unforgettable 2012 “Medinah Miracle.”
Spit in a hole after a missed hit in 2009? Forgot to think back to the famous “Come ooooon” that was launched after snatching a tie with Paul Casey during “Ryder” 2008.
Sanctuary ruined by anger, greens destroyed and disqualified at the 2019 Saudi International (okay, okay…)? I preferred to think about the three matches I won at Le Golf National, in front of my stunned eyes.
I screamed like hell when I hit the knockout on the seventeenth, while you were playing with Rory.
I was deeply moved when I cried tears of happiness after defeating Ricky Fowler in the singles and raising your murky eyes to the sky, evoking the memory of Saif, the points that score in his pocket.
These three days of grace in Paris, running to find the best visual “spot” in each of your shots, deserve in my eyes all forgiveness for your many misconduct. Between fire and ice, you have been chosen.
But this time, you’ve gone too far. I don’t follow you anymore. In the literal sense on social networks, as well as figuratively. That departure to LIV Golf, those hateful words towards the PGA Tour, that spoiled kid wrath (reported by English media) when you learned that the DP World Tour was fining and hanging you for leaving to the hideous Greg Norman fairs, does not pass!
Sergio, you betrayed the heart of my fans. Worse, you betray, in my opinion, the memory of your hero, the Sword of Ballesteros. You betray the great legacy you should have left with your Ryder Cup exploits. You betray the rings that dedicated you: the PGA Tour, which may not have always been grateful enough for you, especially the European circuit, your first family, the one on which today generations of young golfers dreamed of being raised.
Today, like me, other fans, some of your old friends like Rory McIlroy and maybe Jose Maria Olazbal, maybe young champions from the Old Continent lament seeing the greatest player in Ryder Cup history forgetting its ideals, for a few extra bucks. Well, for a lot of extra bucks, I’ll give it to you.
The LIV Golf-PGA Tour-DP World Tour is nothing but Greg Norman’s age-old vendetta against the established system and especially the American circuit. She doesn’t golf any good, you know that. It is good for your bank account. any thing else.
This will weaken the PGA Tour and possibly the DP World Tour’s disappearance. What’s more serious for me, for you, too, hopefully devalues the Ryder Cup. In the long run, an event that the record-holder is proud of can become a fun fair, hardly more exciting than the beloved LIV games.
I dare hope you don’t, like Talor Gooch, dare compare the atmosphere of these two events…I can’t imagine the 3rd place I won in Portland with the FIREBALLS GC team (what is this nameIt gave you the same thrill as the achievement of Medina…
The way to salvation
Therefore, I am addressing this letter to you with great hope. The person who makes you change your mind. If you, token player in Europe, back off, if you give up the inappropriate greens, if you give up the LIV, if you go back to the DP World Tour (which will not fail to welcome you with open arms) for one last “qualification” in the Cup Ryder, and then being able to become a Blues and Willows captain in 2025 or 2027, this decision could be the most powerful gesture of your entire career.
Stronger than the winning throw in Augusta. Stronger than 28.5 points.
Sergio, only fools do not change their minds.
Back to the Ryder Cup. There, Saif is watching you. Behind the scenes, John Ram and Rory McIlroy are hoping.
I am in front of my computer writing to you…
(Formerly) the biggest fan in France