/

Faldo backs Garcia jibe

AP

Nick Faldo defended his television commentary that Sergio Garcia was “useless” in the 2008 Ryder Cup, saying the Spaniard had emotional and physical problems at Valhalla and even told Faldo that he did not want to play.

Faldo, captain of that 2008 team that lost to the Americans, conceded it was a harsh choice of words. But in an interview Friday night with The Associated Press, he revealed details of that Ryder Cup and said “he wasn’t the Sergio everyone knows now.”

He said Garcia was emotionally down after breaking up with his girlfriend and told him he didn’t want to play after the pairings already were in.

Garcia’s teammates rallied around him Friday night at Gleneagles after a late rally to take a 5-3 lead in the Ryder Cup.

“Are you sure you didn’t misquote him?” Garcia said when told of Faldo’s comments. “That’s unfortunate. I guess he doesn’t feel European. That’s the only thing I can think of. There’s a lot of things I could say about Nick Faldo, but I’m not going to put myself down to his level.”

Faldo is the analyst for Golf Channel, and as Garcia was teeing off Friday morning in fourballs with Rory McIlroy, host Terry Gannon said that regardless of what Garcia has done on his own, he has been “spectacular” during the Ryder Cup.

“Yes, apart from one,” Faldo replied.

When Gannon asked if that 2008 Ryder Cup still hurt, Faldo said: “He was useless.” After some laughter, Faldo added: “Half a point, bad attitude. Anyway, we move on six years later.”