Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Golf course marshals differ on Tiger-Sergio flap

Tiger Woods says incorrect information he was given led to the flap last week at TPC.

Credit

Tiger Woods says incorrect information he was given led to the flap last week at TPC.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Two marshals say Tiger Woods never said anything to them about whether Sergio Garcia had played his shot. Two other marshals disputed that account, one of them saying he told Woods that Garcia had already hit on the second hole at the TPC Sawgrass.

In the days since Woods won the Players Championship, the dispute has shifted from players to volunteer marshals.

It started Saturday in the third round when Woods was deep in the trees, some 50 yards to the left of Garcia in the fairway. Woods pulled a 5-wood from his bag to play a high-risk shot through a gap in the trees, and the crowd cheered his decision, which was right about the time Garcia was playing his shot.

Woods said marshals told him Garcia had already hit.

Asked about the poor shot he hit that led to bogey, Garcia said that Woods should have known the Spaniard was about to hit, and he suggested that Woods might have instigated the disruptive cheer. Woods said later Saturday that Garcia didn't have all the facts.

"The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot," Woods said.

None of that had any bearing on the outcome, and there were no rules violation.

But it became more testy when Sports Illustrated quoted two marshals as saying they told Woods no such thing. One of them was John North, the head marshal for that section of the golf course. He told the magazine, "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."

The Florida Times-Union, however, quoted two marshals as saying there was communication between Woods and volunteers.

"It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger," said Brian Nedrich, a marshal at the second hole. "That's because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio hit."

Nedrich said he was about 10 yards from Woods, and while he could barely see Garcia, he said he got a glimpse of him swinging and saw the ball in the air. He said when the crowd began to stir around Woods, another marshal, Lance Paczkowski, tried to quiet them by saying, "The other player hasn't hit yet."

"That's when I yelled back at Lance, 'No … he's already hit," Nedrich told the newspaper. "Tiger had already taken his club, but we did tell him that Sergio had hit."

It became a particularly sensitive issue to the Woods camp because several websites had the word "lied" in its headlines.

Sports Illustrated posted an update Wednesday on its website that it had a follow-up with North, who said with an earpiece in one ear, it was possible that other officials had an exchange with Woods that he didn't hear. North said his statement about "lacking character" was based on his understanding that no marshal had said anything to Woods.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said in a statement that the comments from the marshals in the Florida Times-Union story "definitively show that Tiger was telling the truth about being told Sergio had hit. I hope this demonstrates to some reporters the importance of accuracy and not jumping to misplaced conclusions."

Pepper's back: Dottie Pepper is returning to broadcasting, signing a deal with ESPN that she calls a perfect fit of TV work and promoting junior golf.

Pepper retired from NBC in December after eight years because she was weary of the travel and wanted to devote her time to getting more juniors involved in golf. She joined the PGA of America as one of its board members.

"It's the dream fit," Pepper, 47, said. "I love what I do, and now I can do enough of it and still have a life. It's just the major championships, and next year I'll work eight events. It's fabulous."

Pepper said there was mutual interest when ESPN called, but it came with a caveat: She wanted to make sure that joining ESPN would not affect Judy Rankin, the longtime ABC Sports and ESPN golf analyst whom Pepper considers a close friend and mentor. It was Rankin who in 1999 suggested that Pepper be hired to work the U.S. Women's Amateur.

Golf course marshals differ on Tiger-Sergio flap 05/15/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.