PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. —
Sports Illustrated talked to the chief marshal for that section of the course, John North, who said he stood over the ball to keep the gallery away from it and was 5 feet away when Woods played his shot.
“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.”
To suggest Woods purposely tried to distract Garcia is a stretch. It was hard to even see Garcia from where he was in the trees. But it was silly to hang this on “the marshals,” unless he mistook any of the hundreds of people around him as marshals.
Woods’ mistake was not doing what just about every other tour player would have done — look over to the other player to determine who was away. This would require eye contact, and there wasn’t much of that in the third round.
Garcia’s mistake was not doing what just about every other tour player would have done — say something to Woods, instead of calling him out on TV. The ball was back in Woods’ court at this point. Instead of telling Garcia he didn’t see him (if he didn’t) or apologizing (if he did) he threw out the line about the marshals and couldn’t resist taking a shot.
“Not real surprising that he’s complaining about something,” Woods said of Garcia.
Both of them should have been put in time-out.