The Tiger Woods-Sergio Garcia spat took another turn last night when a golf marshal said he never spoke to Tiger during the controversial sequence at the second hole on Saturday.
Sergio and Tiger were playing together when Sergio mis-hit his shot from the fairway on the second hole.
After the round, he blamed it on Tiger. Sergio claimed Tiger took a 5-wood out of his bag during his backswing, which prompted oohs and aahs from the crowd that distracted him.
When he was asked about it, Tiger said it was all big misunderstanding. He told reporters:
“The marshal told me he already hit so I pulled the club and was getting ready to play my shot, and then I hear his comments afterward. Not really surprising that he’s complaining about something.”
But in an interview with Michael Bamberger of Sports Illustrated, two separate marshals say that that conversation never happened.
John North, who was standing over Tiger’s ball at the time, told SI:
“Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to him. I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. We’re there to help the players and enhance the experience of the fans. He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character.”
Another marshal, Gary Anderson, added, “He didn’t ask us nothing, and we didn’t say nothing. We’re told not to talk to the players.”
They are both accusing Tiger of lying here, North explicitly so.
Tiger had no reason to lie. Sergio came off so petty that Tiger didn’t need to explain himself. In addition, Tiger’s every move (and drop) is scrutinized so heavily at this point that he had to know that he couldn’t get away with fabricating an entire conversation.
It’s plausible that he was just confused. He was surrounded by hundreds fans and officials at the time and he couldn’t see where Sergio was hitting from, so maybe someone told gave him the OK to play his shot.
But if the marshals are to be believed, this is a really dumb move by Tiger. He essentially created a controversy out of thin air in a situation where everyone was previously on his side.
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