“It lacked character.”
Those words have been used to describe a Tiger Woods decision before, but the fact that they’re increasingly being used to describe Woods’ on-course actions is something else.
That’s the case this week, though, as Woods finds himself embroiled in a feud with fellow golfer Sergio Garcia. Woods and Garcia weren’t shy about insulting each other as they battled for The Players Championship last weekend, and the bad blood has continued. Garcia is upset about a sequence Saturday in which he says Woods pulled a club from his bag while Garcia was hitting a shot — in a different area, but close enough that the crowd reacted and threw Garcia off his stroke.
Woods has denied accusations that he was trying to distract Garcia, saying he couldn’t see Garcia and that course marshals told him Garcia had already hit.
While both Garcia and Woods have stuck to their version of the story, Garcia appeared to get the course marshals on his side Sunday.
“He didn’t ask us nothing,” marshal Gary Anderson said, according to Sports Illustrated. “We didn’t say nothing. We’re told not to talk to the players.”
Chief marshal John North agreed with Anderson.
“Nothing was said to us, and we certainly said nothing to him,” North said. “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.”
But that’s not the end of the story. While the situation appears to perfectly continue the recent narrative that Woods is less-than-admirable both off and on the course, with everything from his chats with fans to his drops under extra scrutiny, this one may be less of a case of Woods trying to get his way and more of a basic misunderstanding.
The Florida Times-Union did a little more digging, and two other marshals now say that Woods appears to be right — but just misinformed — in what he was saying.
“It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger,” marshal Brian Nedrich, who says he was within 10-to-12 yards of Woods, said of the accusations. “That’s because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio had hit.”
Marshal Lance Paczkowski, who was working with Nedrich, said he and Woods had already talked about whether more fans needed to be moved.
“He said, ‘No … I’m good,'” Paczkowski said. “We talk to players all the time if we need to in regards to their needs and crowd control.”
Nedrich and Paczkowski were going back and forth on the sidelines about whether Garcia had hit, and their comments were loud enough for Woods to hear. They say that them saying Garcia had hit meant Woods didn’t have to ask — one part of the story that the original marshals questioned, saying Woods never addressed anyone — if he simply overhead them.
Nedrich said Woods may have gotten the details out of order, but he wasn’t necessarily telling a fib.
“There was a lot going on, as usual, when Tiger plays,” he said. “Then, he’s trying to have the concentration he needs to win a tournament. It’s easy to get small details out of whack when things happen so fast. It was an unfortunate incident, and I don’t think either player is to blame.”
Lie or no lie, this much is true: It’s probably safest to check with Garcia before doing anything.
Photo of the Day
Mr. and Mrs. Brees take a turn at being Mr. and Mrs. Gatsby.
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Tweet of the Day
Excellent point, Josh Scobee.
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Video of the Day
You see? Josh Hamilton can hit home runs!