Garcia to renew Woods rivalry


Published: Saturday 11th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Sergio Garcia played down his poor relationship with Tiger Woods as the pair prepared to play the third round of the 79th Masters together on Saturday.

The animosity between the pair became public knowledge during the Players Championship in May 2013 and descended into a racism row a few weeks later ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

They played together in the third round of the BMW Championship in Chicago in September that year, but had been kept apart in majors until now.

“It was gonna happen at some point sooner or later!” Garcia wrote on Twitter on Friday evening. ”Paired with @TigerWoods tomorrow but don’t you worry guys, I’m sure we’ll both be fine.”

The Ryder Cup star added on Saturday: ” @TigerWoods and I might not be best friends but we do respect each other and that respect will stay the same today! Enjoy some good golf.”

It took less than two holes for tensions to come to the surface at Sawgrass in 2013, with Garcia feeling he was put off on his approach to the second by crowd noise caused by Woods preparing for his own shot from the trees.

Woods insisted he had been told by a marshal that Garcia had already played before pulling a fairway wood from his bag, with the fans cheering the indication that the world number one would attempt to go for the green on the par five.

The spat then took an ugly turn later that month when Garcia became embroiled in controversy for making what could be construed as a racist remark about the 14-time major winner.

During a Q&A session involving the full Ryder Cup team at the European Tour’s annual awards dinner, Garcia was asked if he would invite Woods to dinner one night during the upcoming US Open to settle their differences.

”We will have him round every night,” Garcia said. ”We will serve fried chicken.”

Garcia was quick to apologise and left a hand-written note in Woods’ locker the following month at Merion, but Woods did not appear in the mood to forgive and forget.

”The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate,” Woods wrote on Twitter at the time. “I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.”

Garcia and Woods started the third round 12 shots adrift of Jordan Spieth and faced a tough task to post the low score they needed to get back into contention.

Fourteen of the 18 pins had been placed within six yards of the edge of the greens as the tournament committee perhaps reacted to Spieth’s 14-under-par halfway total of 130 setting a new Masters record.

The best golf so far was coming from Korea’s Sang-moon Bae, who had birdied the second, seventh and eighth to move to two under par for the tournament, and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Stenson, who has been struggling with the flu, birdied the second and bogeyed the fourth before carding a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh to be out in 33 and improve to one under.

American Steve Stricker was the odd man out of the 55 players who made the cut and therefore playing alongside Augusta member Jeff Knox. Knox famously outscored Rory McIlroy at the same stage last year but had his work cut out with Stricker one under after 11.

Published: Saturday 11th April 2015 by The News Editor

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