Category: Players Championship

May 15, 2013

Volunteers dispute account of Woods-Garcia controversy

Posted at 3:54 PM by Mike Walker

After Sergio Garcia complained about Tiger Woods pulling a club before Garcia had played his shot on the par-5 second hole of the Players Championship on Saturday, Woods said that a marshal had told him Garcia had already played his shot. One marshal on the hole told Sports Illustrated that he did not tell Woods that Garcia had played the shot, but another marshal told the Florida Times-Union that he did talk to Woods about Garcia’s shot, although he talked to Woods after – not before – Garcia played his shot. From the Florida Times-Union:

Two Players Championship marshals who are part of the walking escort team for Tiger Woods are disputing an account in Sports Illustrated of the incident involving Woods and Sergio Garcia during the third round last Saturday.

Garcia claimed that Woods distracted him during his second shot at the second hole when Woods pulled a fairway metal out of his bag to hit out of the left trees, drawing a response from the crowd.

Woods said he was told by a marshal that Garcia, on the far right side of the fairway, about 50 yards away and obscured from Woods’ view, had already hit before he selected a club. Replays have since shown that the crowd made noise when Garcia was over his ball, but not in his backswing.

Two Players marshals, John North and Gary Anderson, were quoted by SI as saying that Woods didn’t ask any marshals about Garcia's status, and none was given.

But two volunteers -- marshal Brian Nedrich and escort Lance Paczkowski -- told the Times-Union that they did communicate with Woods about Garcia's shot.

Both said the claims there was no communication between Woods and volunteers are wrong and said that Woods was only mistaken about the sequence of events.

“It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger,” said Nedrich, who was a marshal at the second hole. “That’s because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio had hit.”

While Woods was mistaken in his post-round comments about when he was told about Garcia's shot, Woods was not being intentionally misleading, the volunteers said.

“It’s disingenuous to suggest that Tiger is a liar because he got a minor detail wrong,” Nedrich said. “Basically, he told the truth.”

“Tiger Woods did not lie,” Paczkowski said. “Was there a small mistake in what he remembered? Yes. But I don't think it rises to the level of lying.”

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


May 13, 2013

Marshal: I didn't say anything to Tiger about Sergio

Posted at 6:12 PM by Mike Walker

Woods_garcia_600Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2013 Players Championship.

Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia had a misunderstanding on the par-5 second hole at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday that reignited the two golfers' longtime feud. However, the marshal who was following the group said Woods's explanation for his actions on the hole was not true, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger. [See update below.]

In the third round, on the 2nd hole, Woods hit a poor tee shot into the left trees. García hit a better tee shot, on the right side of the fairway. If the players had been communicating properly, García and Woods, or their caddies, would have established an order of play. But there was nothing like that. García, playing out of turn but not able to see Woods, was disrupted as he started his swing by a modest cheer from the woods, where a large group of spectators had surrounded Tiger, forming a human V around his ball. The cheers were a response to Woods’s pulling a five-wood out of his bag, meaning that he was going to attempt an absurdly difficult recovery shot. García, after fatting his shot, turned his round chin in Woods’s direction and glared.

“It’s very simple,” García said during an NBC interview. “You have to pay attention to what’s going on because the other guy is hitting. You do something when you’re in the crowd, and the crowd is going to respond.”

Returning serve, Woods said, “The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot, and then I hear his comments afterward and it’s not real surprising that he’s complaining about something.”

Well, when they heard that remark from Woods, the marshals were surprised. One of them, Gary Anderson, said on Sunday, “He didn’t ask us nothing, and we didn’t say nothing. We’re told not to talk to the players.”

Anderson’s boss, John North, was the chief marshal for the first three holes. He stood over Woods’s ball to protect it from the throng and was five feet away when Woods played his shot. North has worked the tournament as a volunteer marshal for 30 years, he’s a graduate of the Naval Academy, he served in Vietnam, he’s a FedEx pilot and he donates his round on the Stadium course for being a volunteer to the Wounded Warriors project.

“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.”

Hours later, his workweek done, North watched the tournament on TV in a military appreciation tent. “I hate to say it, but I was rooting for him,” North said of Woods. “It tears me apart. But when he’s winning..."


UPDATE: According to The Florida Times-Union, a different marshal at the second hole said that he told Woods that Garcia had hit after Garcia hit his shot. Brian Nedrich, a marshal at the second hole, said Woods was wrong about the time sequence -- Woods had already grabbed his club before the marshal told him Garcia had hit -- but that Woods did communicate with volunteers. “It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger,” Nedrich said of claims that no marshal said anything to Woods about Garcia. “That’s because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio had hit.”

In a follow-up interview Wednesday morning, North said that, with an earpiece in one ear, it was possible that other officials had an exchange with Woods that he did not hear. He said he was beside Woods's ball as he prepared to play his shot but was as much as 20 feet away when Woods actually swung. He said his statement about "character" was based on his understanding that no marshal had said anything to Woods.

May 09, 2013

Players Championship 2013 Round 2 Live Blog

Posted at 8:05 PM by live blogged Tiger Woods' second round at the 2013 Players Championship. Read what happened below.

Players Championship 2013 Round 1 Live Blog

Posted at 9:19 AM by is live blogging Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson's opening rounds at the 2013 Players Championship.

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May 08, 2013

Tiger Woods says he wouldn't call in rules violations

Posted at 8:33 AM by

It's been nearly a month since Tiger Woods's rules controversy at Augusta National, but it was still a hot topic Tuesday at the Players Championship.

Woods, making his first start since finishing T4 at the Masters, said he could never see himself calling in a rules violation.

"I don't ever see myself calling in and saying that Kobe traveled, or things like that, or some guy held ‑‑ an offensive lineman held, but it's our sport, and that's what we've done and we've accepted," Woods said. "Certain groups are going to get more heat than others just because they're on TV. It is what it is."

Woods was also suprised that his penalty was still being debated weeks after it happened.

"Yeah, actually I am, because I think Fred [Ridley, Augusta National's tournament competition committee chairman] explained it pretty well," Woods said. "For some reason evidently that wasn't accepted."

Woods also admitted it took about a week to get over his disappointing finish in the year's first major.

"When I was away from it, I was reflecting on ‑‑ obviously the things that I did right, but also the things that I did wrong that week," Woods said. "And unfortunately I hit a good shot and got a bad break. But I still had an opportunity over the next 36 holes to get it back, and I sort of had my opportunities to do it and I just didn't do it."

Woods tees off Thursday at 1:49 p.m. ET with Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar.

Related Gallery: Tiger's Life in Pictures

Related Story: Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn attend Met Gala

(Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

May 01, 2013

Tiger Woods commits to 2013 Players Championship

Posted at 12:16 PM by

Tiger-woodsRest easy, Tiger fans, your man will return to action next week.

Tiger Woods announced on his website Tuesday that he will make his first post-Masters start at next week's Players Championship in Jacksonville, Fla. Woods was expected to play in this week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, but he decided against it when the PGA Tour adjusted its tournament schedule.

The Wells Fargo is normally held three weeks after the Masters; this year it falls two weeks after the season's first major.

"Tiger has tremendous respect for Johnny Harris, Kym Hougham and the tournament but the tour schedule is the overriding factor this year," Woods's agent Mark Steinberg told The Charlotte Observer.

"Typically, Tiger likes to take three weeks off after the Masters. With a shorter time period after the Masters this year, that's the reason he won't be playing."

Since winning the Players in 2001, Woods has a spotty record at TPC Sawgrass. He withdrew from the event in 2010 and 2011 with injuries and tied for 40th last year.

In six PGA Tour events this season, Woods has won three titles: the Farmers Insurance Open, the Cadillac Championship, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He tied for fourth at the Masters.

(Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

January 10, 2013

Police find meth lab at Sawgrass Marriott: Truth & Rumors

Posted at 11:50 AM by Samantha Glover

Police discovered a meth lab in a hotel room at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa, which has a close working relationship with the PGA Tour's Players Championship on the famed Stadium Course, according to Action News Jacksonville.

Sgt. Chuck Mulligan tells Action News a man and a woman checked into the resort. The credit card they used made security suspicious that there could be a fraud issue.

Security went to investigate more, that's when deputies say a security guard noticed equipment that is used for cooking meth. Mulligan says the security guard is a former law enforcement officer who knew the signs of a meth lab and called the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say the lab was in the process of actively cooking drugs when it was discovered.

Five rooms near the meth lab were evacuated as HAZMAT crews went in to begin the cleaning process. Mulligan says the cleanup was difficult, because the room is on an upper floor and crews had to bring in pipes to pump out potentially hazardous air and chemicals.

According to Action News, the scale of the meth operation was small, but the lab could have posed a danger to other guests.

Investigators described the lab as a small "one-pot" operation. While the size of the operation may have been small, Action News has learned the danger posed by one of these devices is still high. Small units similar to the one discovered in the resort have the power to blow a hole through a wall. Sgt. Mulligan estimates the cost of the cleanup could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

May 15, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Dustin Johnson's manager denies drug rumors

Posted at 12:47 PM by Michael Chwasky

Dustin Johnson hasn't played a Tour event since mid-March, and he surprised everyone when he withdrew from the Masters with what Johnson said was a back injury sustained while lifting a jet ski. Speculation on DJ's situation has run rampant in the interim, with a variety of conspiracy theorists suggesting he eloped, or more commonly, that he was serving a drug-related suspension. However, according to his agent, David Winkle, Johnson is legitimately injured and getting ready to resume play, according to Steve Elling at CBS Sports.

“Dustin is not serving a drug suspension,” Winkle said evenly. “I will make it clear -- he has been injured. He is playing golf again, he is very rusty but champing at the bit to get back out there.”

As of now, Johnson has committed to play the Memorial in two weeks, then Memphis, and then the U.S. Open in San Francisco. He currently ranks 21st in U.S. Ryder Cup points.

Players grabs big attendance and ratings
While TV ratings weren't through the roof for The Players Championship this past weekend, attendance went up big. According to tournament officials attendance numbers reached more than 162,000 for the week, up about 20 percent from last year's event. About 35,000 came to watch the Sunday action alone. 

"A lot of things went right for us to have the week we did," Players executive director Matt Rapp said. "The temperatures were moderate, and we didn’t have the rain delay we had last year [on Saturday]. The hospitality areas we created or upgraded were huge hits. Military Appreciation Day was very popular once again [around 20,000 people were on the course Wednesday]. And we had a very popular guy with strong local ties in contention every day and eventually winning the tournament, and that always helps local interest."

TV ratings, while not nearly as impressive, looked to be pretty solid as well. Thursday's viewership was up about 5 percent over 2011, and ratings for Friday's telecast, which featured Tiger Woods playing late in the day, increased 86 percent over last year, making it the most watched early-round telecast since The Golf Channel started covering the tournament. Saturday's numbers were also up more than 50 percent over last year. 

Feherty and the President
David Feherty sat down recently with President Bill Clinton. Check out this preview clip where Feherty asks Clinton, "What the hell would possess you to do this?"

Kaymer, Rose, Schwartzel and McDowell are top seeds in Euro Tour Match Play event
The Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin near Marbella
has some big names raring to take each other on this week including Sergio Garcia battling Alvaro Quiros, and Justin Rose taking on Robert Rock. The top ranked player in the event, Martin Kaymer, will play Rafael Cabrera-Bello in the first round. The unusual event features eight groups consisting of three players each. After a round robin the two top players in each group go on to a knock out round. Here's more salient info on the tournament: 

The top 16 seeds are as follows (in group order):

(1) Martin Kaymer and (16) Rafael Cabrera Bello

(2) Justin Rose and (15) Robert Rock

(3) Charl Schwartzel and (14) Nicolas Colsaerts

(4) Graeme McDowell and (13) Robert Karlsson

(5) Sergio Garcia and (12) Alvaro Quiros

(6) Peter Hanson and (11) Paul Lawrie

(7) Brandt Snedeker and (10) Thomas Bjorn

(8) Ian Poulter and (9) John Senden

The remaining eight players (with world ranking positions in brackets) are: (65) Branden Grace, (66) Retief Goosen, (70) Darren Clarke, (119) Jbe Kruger, (126) Camilo Villegas, (133) Tetsuji Hiratsuka, (175) Tom Lewis, (218) Richard Finch.

The top 16 seeds are the only ones involved on Thursday and holder Poulter will start the action off against Senden at 12.05pm local time (1105 BST). The other eight players then have two games on Friday to decide the last 16.

Tweet of the Day

May 09, 2012

2012 Players Championship: Round 1 Live Blog

Posted at 4:34 PM by will be live-blogging until 7 p.m. Eastern. Join the conversation here.

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May 03, 2012

Bubba Watson announces decision to skip Players Championship on Twitter

Posted at 2:18 PM by

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