Sergio Garcia has announced a split from manufacturer Callaway ahead of his first appearance of 2020 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Sergio Garcia, the 2017 US Masters champion at Augusta, joined Callaway in 2018 after 15 years with TaylorMade. But the relationship lasted only two seasons before the mutual split was revealed by the Spaniard.
Sergio Garcia confirmed the news in his pre-tournament press conference in Abu Dhabi, but it wasn’t a surprise to many after he was spotted using Ping Blueprint irons and Ping Glide 3.0 wedges during the practice rounds in the Middle East.
It looks like to be a mixed bag for free agent Garcia with TaylorMade SIM woods also present among his bag as well as the Ping G410 driver and a Ping Anser putter.
“Unfortunately our relationship with Callaway didn’t go any farther,” Sergio Garcia said when confirming the news. “So at the moment I’m a free agent. So I’m playing whatever I feel that—feels best for me or fits me best. That’s where we are and that’s what I’ve been working on this Christmas break.
“There’s things that happen, and obviously many of the things that Callaway wanted me to do, I couldn’t agree to them. Unfortunately we thought the best thing to do was to go our separate ways. It’s all good, there’s no hard feelings by any side, and these things happen.
“At the end of the day, what I want to do is go out there and enjoy what I do, try to do the best of my ability, and they are also trying to get the best equipment they can get. Unfortunately just it wasn’t the fit that we thought it would be for me, and you know, we just move on from there.”
The now 40-year-old won the most recent of his 35 career victories at the KLM Open in the Netherlands last September, but a frustrating—and at times controversial—2019 campaign saw him slip to 41st in the world rankings.
Garcia was kicked off the inaugural tour event in Saudi Arabia—the Saudi International—in February after throwing a tantrum following a bunker shot in which he took out his frustrations on the sand as he took several swipes with his sand iron.
Then in July, Sergio Garcia has caused more controversy due to petulance on the course at the WGC St Jude Classic. He took a swipe at the turf on the tee box and sent a huge divot flying into the air after a wayward drive, after which the tournament leaders had to use the damaged tee box.
Garcia’s place in the Callaway stable has been taken by Matt Wallace, with the world number 32 making the switch from Ping, who themselves have signed Eddie Pepperell from Mizuno.
Wallace will be using the new Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero driver and woods along with Apex Pro irons, MD5 Jaws wedges and an Odyssey putter.
“I’ve been a Callaway fan since I was young, so it’s a thrill and an honour to become a member of the Callaway Tour Staff,” Wallace said. “I can’t wait to start working with Callaway’s tour team to get my new equipment dialled in for 2020.”
Tim Reed, Callaway SVP of Global Sports Marketing, added: “Matt’s a fantastic addition to the Callaway Staff. “He’s an excellent ball-striker and putter who knows how to win. We can’t wait to see how high he can raise his game with the help of Callaway equipment.”
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