That spicy little war of words between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia at the Players Championship may be over, but the controversy is not.
Two marshals on the TPC of Sawgrass course disputed Woods’s account of the event that triggered the bickering between the two golfers, who, as Garcia said, “don’t like each other.” On Saturday, Garcia had contended that Woods distracted him on his swing when his choice of a golf club drew a roar from the crowd. Woods, who was a distance from Garcia at the time, said he didn’t see Garcia and that course marshals had told him he could proceed.
“He didn’t ask us nothing,” Gary Anderson, one of the marshals, told SI.com’s Michael Bamberger. “We didn’t say nothing. We’re told not to talk to the players.”
John North, chief marshal for the first three holes, happened to be with Woods at the second hole. A Naval Academy graduate who served in Vietnam, he has been a volunteer marshal for 30 years. Bamberger writes that North is a FedEx pilot who donates his round on the 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.”
Later, after watching Woods win the tournament, North said: “I hate to say it, but I was rooting for him. It tears me apart. But when he’s winning…”