By Alex Myers
There's good sportsmanship and then there's, well, this.
With Sergio Garcia's third-round opponent, Rickie Fowler, facing a par putt of about 18 feet on the seventh hole, and Garcia 2 up and having his own par putt from about six feet, the Spaniard offered a surprising "good, good." Not surprisingly, Fowler jumped at the opportunity to pick up his ball and move to the next hole with a halve. Here's video of the odd sequence Friday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play that had announcers scratching their heads:
Shortly after, Garcia told an on-course Golf Channel reporter that he gave Fowler the putt because he felt bad for taking a long time to play a shot on the previous hole. Really?
Garcia has been called a lot of things in his career, but should we start referring to him as Sergio The Magnanimous? Or is it Sergio The Soft? Hmm. Garcia The Gracious? Or Sergio The Stupid? Regardless, we'll probably be hearing about this one for awhile -- especially, if Garcia winds up losing.
Update: Garcia wound up losing. Ouch. Fowler's birdie on the final hole gave him a 1-up win (he'll face Jim Furyk in a Saturday quarterfinal) and the two did a joint post-round TV interview. To Garcia's credit, he handled losing well and reiterated his generous concession stemmed from the sixth hole, where Fowler missed a short birdie putt after a long delay caused by Garcia getting a drop from a swarm of bees.
"I felt like maybe I took too much time," Garcia said. "That might have made a difference on his putt."
"I like to be as fair as possible. . . . At least I feel good with myself, even though I lost."
Guess we're going with Sergio The Satisfied.