Saturday at The Players Adds To A Wild Week

THE PLAYERS Championship Logo

We were all excited to see what would happen between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia in the final group of round 3. They didn’t disappoint.

And what would a 2013 PGA Tour event, the flagship event of the tour no less, be without a weather delay? Mother Nature didn’t disappoint.

Also on Saturday we saw a player whiff – completely miss his golf ball. On the first hole, Lee Westwood hit his tee shot up against a tree. Although he didn’t hit the tree on his practice swing, he clipped the trunk (not a branch, the TRUNK) on his downswing which redirected his club and he failed to contact his golf ball.

Another player, Ryan Palmer, is playing for the memory of a recently deceased friend. Palmer’s childhood friend was killed in a car accident Thursday night in San Antonio. Palmer received the news Thursday and has himself in contention through almost three rounds. You can read Jason Sobel’s story on golfchannel.com.

An unknown Swede has emerged atop the leaderboard amongst a host of golf elite names. With Woods, Garcia and Stenson just a shot behind. David Lingmerth (pronounced with a hard t and silent h). Lingmerth has the unenviable task of finishing his third round by playing the difficult 18th Sunday morning.

But getting back to Tiger/Sergio…

It didn’t take long for the fireworks to go off. Garcia found the fairway off the tee on the par 5 second while Woods overhooked his ball into the trees. Sergio flared his second shot to the right of the green and looked toward his left with an unhappy look (although that’s not much of a surprise for Sergio).

When weather suspended play when the final group was on the seventh hole Garcia was asked about his second at number two:

                “I wouldn’t say [Tiger] didn’t see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is gonna hit.”

Sergio was referencing a cheer that came up from the crowd surrounding Woods when he pulled his 5 wood.

To which Woods replied:

“Not real surprising he’s complaining about something”

And Sergio fired back after the round was suspended:

“It’s fine. At least I’m true to myself. He can do whatever he wants”

Ohhh…kay…back to you, Tiger:

“The marshal told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot.”

When asked if the two discussed the issue on the course Tiger said:

“We didn’t do a lot of talking.”

There is obviously no love lost between these two. And it’s really no surprise to hear Sergio fail to accept responsibility for his lack of execution on the golf course. But when NBC Sports showed synced videos of the two players during Sergio’s shot it seemed obvious that Woods could not have seen Garcia from his position in the trees, 49 yards to the left of Garcia. Ultimately, Woods recovered to make a birdie while Garcia bogeyed. Had those scores been reversed, or perhaps both players had made the same score, I doubt Sergio would have said anything.

When darkness ended the day’s play Woods and Garcia were in the 15th fairway and elected to mark their balls and finish the hole, and the rest of their rounds, Sunday morning at 7:00 am.

This spat makes me wonder what would happen if my mom were in charge of the situation. When my sister and I were not getting along, my mother would threaten to make us stay in the same room and not come out until we had worked out our differences.

But I doubt you could even get Tiger and Sergio into the same room.

The conclusion of The Players is shaping up to be fantastic, as it always is. Keep this in mind, since The Players moved to May in 2007, no 54-hole leader has gone on to win. In fact, the average score of the 54-hole leader is 76.3 with no rounds under par since the move to May.

The good news for David Lingmerth? He’s not the 54-hole leader. He’s only played 53 holes, and will complete his 54th hole Sunday morning, not exactly a bargain.

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