Woods, Garcia fallout spices up Players final round

Tiger Woods (R) of the USA and Sergio Garcia of Spain stand on the 11th tee at TPC Sawgrass on May 11, 2013


Tiger Woods (R) of the USA and Sergio Garcia of Spain stand on the 11th tee during round three of THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 11, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The tense relationship between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia looked set to spice up Sunday’s final round of the weather-hit Players Championship.

Woods and Garcia joined rookie David Lingmerth atop the leaderboard as the delayed third round wrapped up.

Their uneasy relationship took another hit on Saturday when the Spaniard complained that a move by Woods to remove a club from his bag just as Garcia was hitting a shot sparked distracting crowd noise.

Garcia had waited for Woods, who was off the fairway at the second hole, to organise his planned shot, then stepped up to his ball.

“You do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit, and right as I was in the top of my backswing, I think he must have pulled like a five-wood or a three-wood and, obviously, everybody started screaming.

“So that didn’t help very much,” Garcia said in a television interview during the rain delay on Saturday. He bogeyed the hole.

Woods said after the round that he thought Garcia had already hit.

“I think it’s probably good for both of us,” Garcia said of the fact he wouldn’t be paired with Woods in Sunday’s final round.

“I mean, it’s as simple as that.”

Woods, whose three wins on the tour this season have seen him regain the world number one ranking, said it didn’t matter that he wouldn’t be playing in the final group.

“It really doesn’t, no,” he said. “I’m tied for the lead, so I’m right there.”

Sweden’s Lingmerth had a two-stroke lead with one hole to play when Saturday’s third round was suspended due to darkness. Play had been delayed for nearly two hours by thunderstorms.

Lingmerth, who birdied 17 in near darkness before play ended on Saturday, but bogeyed 18 when they returned on Sunday to settle for a bogey and a third-round 69.

That left him on 11-under 205 through 54 holes, where he was joined by 2001 Players Championship winner Woods, who birdied the par-five 16th Sunday morning en route to a one-under 71.

Garcia, the 2008 winner of the US PGA Tour’s flagship event, worth $9.5 million this season, bogeyed the 15th but bounced back with birdies at 16 and 17 to join the leading group.

Garcia and Lingmerth were to tee off in the final group for the fourth round on Sunday afternoon while 14-time major winner Woods will play alongside Casey Wittenberg, who carded a 70 to complete 54 holes at 10-under.

Henrik Stenson (71) and Ryan Palmer (70) were all also one stroke off the lead.

Edited by Staff Editor


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