It's a shame Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia won't be playing together on Sunday at the 2013 Players Championship, as their feud has been the biggest story this weekend.
Garcia doesn't see it this way, of course, and he's apparently quite content to be paired with David Lingmerth instead of having to play another round with Woods, per Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel:
Sergio Garcia on not being paired with Tiger Woods: "It's good for both of us... we don't enjoy each other's company."— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) May 12, 2013
There's never been any love lost between Woods and Garcia. The two of them have unsurprisingly been at odds this weekend, and watching them attempt to abide one another's presence is pure television gold.
Just check out Woods as he waits for Garcia to tee off on the 18th hole on Sunday morning, per Kyle Porter of CBS Sports:
This is Tiger during Sergio's backswing on 18. twitter.com/KylePorterCBS/…— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) May 12, 2013
Woods' refusal to even look at Garcia reminds me of some experiences I had with my younger sibling growing up.
Clearly, Woods and Garcia don't get along, but judging from history their reasons are likely coming from two different perspectives. They've been paired 19 times before Saturday, with Woods posting a better round 12 times and tying Garcia four times.
This weekend, their feud started on the second hole.
Woods shanked his drive into the left rough off the tee, setting himself up for a difficult shot from behind some trees. Meanwhile, Garcia drilled his tee shot into the middle of the fairway.
Garcia was the first to hit, and while he was getting ready to address the ball, the crowd surrounding Woods was making noise.
Garcia ended up pushing his second shot way to the right, setting himself up for a bogey. Woods, on the other hand, managed to salvage a birdie with a brilliant bunker shot following his escape from the rough.
The tournament was suspended due to weather later in the round, and that's when Garcia made headlines by seemingly blaming Woods for his poor shot, per Bob Harig of ESPN.com:
Well, obviously, Tiger was on the left, and it was my shot to hit...He moved all the crowd that he needed to move. I waited for that. I wouldn't say that he didn't see that I was ready, but 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 5-wood or a 3-wood and obviously everybody started screaming.
So that didn't help very much. But it was unfortunate because -- I mean I might have hit it in there if nothing happens. You never know. But if I hit a good shot there and maybe make a birdie, it gets my day started in a bit of a different way.
Harig goes on to note that the noise Garcia is referring to occurred "while Garcia stood over the ball, not while he was in his backswing."
Tiger Woods 14 majors won Sergio Garcia 14 excuses on why he can't win 1 major!!!— Patrick Gray (@sportsguy85) May 12, 2013
Woods' response was classic, per Harig:
"Obviously, he doesn't know all the facts. The marshals told me he had already hit. I pulled the club and played my shot. Then I hear his comments afterward. Not really surprising that he's complaining about something."
The sad truth here is that Woods' comment about Garcia complaining hits the nail on the head. He has always found a way to make excuses for failing to perform under pressure.
All the way back in 2007, Mark Reason of the Telegraph penned a column titled, "Sergio Garcia Has Run Out of Excuses," in which he details Garcia's history of making excuses. He opened with, "It wasn't my fault, said Sergio Garcia, it woz just a lot of bad bounces wot robbed me of the championship."
Garcia and Woods were supposed to be rivals, as both players were expected to be the biggest stars on the PGA Tour when they broke out on to the scene at roughly the same time.
Is Garcia crying over spilled milk, or did he have a valid complaint about Woods and his big crowd?
Unfortunately, Garcia has never lived up to expectations. He has thus far failed to win a single major tournament while winning just eight PGA Tour events and just 24 professional tournaments, while Woods has gone on to re-write history books.
On Sunday, even though the two men will be playing in separate groups, all eyes will be watching to see where these two men will stand at the end of the final round. Their feud has turned an already phenomenal event into must-watch television.
Will Garcia finally break through with a big win over Woods, or will Woods once again crush him under his heel en route to PGA Tour victory No. 78?
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78