Tiger Woods had been told by a volunteer marshal that Sergio Garcia had indeed played his shot at the second hole during the third round of the Players Championship on Saturday, according to new reports Wednesday.
All the fuss about Woods being oblivious to Garcia, who during his backswing heard the gallery roar from across the fairway as Woods grabbed an iron from his bag to play his second shot, may have been misrepresented.
It mattered little by Sunday when Woods clinched the TPC victory with a strong finish while Garcia, among others, fell apart on the final holes.
“It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger,” Brian Nedrich said of criticism leveled at Woods in an interview with the Florida Times-Union. “That's because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio hit.”
It appears another marshal, Lance Paczkowski, knew different and tried to relay the information that Garcia still was preparing to hit, but Nedrich stymied the effort.
"That's when I yelled back at Lance, 'No, he's already hit,'" Nedrich said. "Tiger had already taken his club, but we did tell him that Sergio had hit."
Garcia, who carded a bogey for the hole, suggested after the round that Woods might have been utilizing some gamesmanship to disrupt the Spaniard's shot. Woods scoffed at the thought.
“The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot,” Woods said of the incident.
Another marshal was quoted by Sports Illustrated this week saying that Woods did not ask if Garcia had hit, suggesting that Woods lied when he said he'd been told Garcia had hit before he reached for the iron.
Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, took the media to task in a statement released after the Times-Union story went public.
"The comments from the marshals in today's story definitively show that Tiger was telling the truth about being told Sergio had hit," the statement said. "I hope this demonstrates to some reporters the importance of accuracy and not jumping to misplaced conclusions."
That's all fine and dandy today. One thought: Where were those two marshals on Saturday and Sunday as the controversy took on a life of its own?
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