SERGIO GARCIA backed down and took the blame for his elimination after first asking his opponent Matt Kuchar to give him a hole.
The Spaniard, one down at the time, missed a seven-foot par putt to win the seventh hole.
The former Masters champ then attempted to backflick his ball into the hole from four inches before Kuchar had a chance to concede – and missed. He ended up losing the hole to go two down, and that’s the way their quarter-final finished. “I saw him off the green,” said Kuchar. “I said ‘Sergio, I didn’t say anything. I’m not sure how this works out.’ I didn’t want that to be an issue.” So he summoned an official, who said that the Rules of Golf don’t allow a putt to be conceded after it has been struck. American Kuchar said that Garcia then suggested he should concede the next hole to even up the match. “I thought about it and said I don’t like that idea, either,” said Kuchar.
Garcia, who was angry after the Ryder Cup-style incident, sprayed his drive at the eighth on his way to a bogey and lost the match two-up. But after his round, the European star said: “I screwed it up, it’s as simple as that. Obviously I missed my putt and I kind of tapped it with the back of my putter before he said anything. It’s a loss of hole. I understand that. “There are many options open if you don’t want to take the hole, even though I’ve already lost that hole. “But obviously he didn’t like any of the options that were there. It’s fine. At the end of the day, I’m the one who made the mistake.” It is not the first time the two have been involved in controversy this season.
Garcia was disqualified from the Saudi International for damaging the greens while Kuchar had to apologise after initially refusing to pay his local caddie the usual 10 per cent of his winnings after taking a tournament in Mexico last year. After his win over Garcia, Kuchar insisted: “I didn’t want that to be an issue. Sergio said it was totally his mistake. “He knew he made a mistake. I said I didn’t want that to be how the hole was won or lost. “I don’t use any gamesmanship. It was just one of those mistakes Sergio made. I knew I hadn’t conceded it. But it was never a tactic or anything.”