Garcia In Open Qualifying And Friends Reunited With Rory

If you are anywhere near West Lancs GC, north of Liverpool, on Tuesday then you will be able to walk around with Sergio Garcia as he attempts to qualify for the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.

The Spaniard was exempt up until last year, courtesy of his Masters win in 2017, but he is now down in 209th spot on the world rankings after his switch to LIV. He hasn't missed an Open since 1998, a championship where he has twice finished second in among 10 top-10 finishes.

And at 0720 he will tee off with Jamie Donaldson and Matthew Jordan at Final Qualifying as he looks to keep his Open run going.

The 43-year-old recently qualified for the US Open at LA Country Club after coming through qualifying in Texas - he then went on finish 27th in the championship itself.

Garcia also revealed that his friendship with Rory McIlroy is back on after their fairly public feud in the past 12 months.

“Angela (Sergio's wife) and Rory said ‘Hi’ to each other at the US Open. And there was a nice text from Rory to her. That kind of gave me the go-ahead to reach out to him. I had been thinking about it for a while but I wasn’t totally sure about it. And when I saw that reaction from him, he kind of gave me the go-ahead to get closer. We had a great chat. It was two friends that wanted to get back to that spot. That’s the most important thing.

“I wish this would have happened a year and a half ago when we all started and it would have been better for all of us. I really think so. The US Open was a great event for me. I finished 27th.

"Not only because of that, I feel like I played well. But more than anything because I gained a friend back, a friend I felt like I lost in the last year or so. We talked and we had a great conversation, and I feel like I have that friend back, and that to me means a lot. That’s a very positive thing.”

But, while there will be a host of LIV stars in action – including Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz and Marc Leishmann – there will be no Lee Westwood nor Ian Poulter. Westwood will miss his 27th consecutive Open while this will be only Poulter's second absence since 2002.

In Scotland, at Dundonald Links, PGA Championship hero Michael Block will be in the field as he looks to make his Open debut at the age of 47.