TULSA, Okla. -- Another bad break for Sergio Garcia: This
one got him disqualified from the PGA Championship.
Garcia got the boot Saturday for signing an incorrect scorecard
after the third round. In tournament golf, players keep each
other's scores. Garcia's playing partner, Boo Weekley, put down a 4
for Garcia on the 17th hole when the Spaniard actually made a 5.
It's the player's responsibility to ensure his scorecard is
accurate before he signs it. Garcia didn't. And when the mistake
was noticed in the scoring tent, Garcia had already left.
"He just took off," Weekley said. "I called him back down and
tried to get him before he got all the way up the stairs."
Garcia did, in fact, return to the scoring area, but only to be
told he had been disqualified. Once he left what PGA officials call
the "scoring area perimeter," his scorecard was considered turned
in and not able to be changed.
Garcia had left the course and was not available for comment
when his disqualification was announced.
"It's my fault for putting the wrong score in, but it's his
fault for not checking," said Weekley, who shot 5-under 65. "I
just said 'Sergio, I put a 4 but in fact you had a 5.' He said,
'That just puts the icing on the cake."'
Indeed, it has been a rough week and a rough summer for Garcia.
On Thursday, Garcia got into an animated argument with a course
official who put his group on the clock as they made the turn.
After an opening-round 70, he shot 75 the second day to fall out of
contention. He made the cut with no room to spare.
At the British Open, Garcia lost to Padraig Harrington in a
playoff after barely missing a putt on the 18th hole that would
have won the tournament. In a memorable post-round news conference,
he complained about all the breaks that go against him and all the
bad luck he has.
"You know what's the saddest thing about it?" Garcia said.
"It's not the first time. It's not the first time, unfortunately.
So, I don't know, I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more
than the field."
This time, it was Weekley's mistake and his own carelessness
that did in Garcia.
Both players three-putted on the 18th green and Garcia was
furious after his second putt didn't go in. He reared back with his
putter as if he was going to swing it in anger, but held back. He
spent a few moments staring in disbelief at the area where he'd
Weekley's first putt was a 40-footer to make 63 and tie the
all-time single-round scoring record in the majors. He missed
badly, however, and wound up settling for a 65 that got him to even
par for the tournament.
"When Sergio and I were fixing the divots, he asked me 'Do you
want to trade?"' Weekley said. "And I said 'No, I think I like
what I've got right here.' Then, as I hit the putt, I said 'Well,
maybe I should've traded."'
Who knows if both players' frustration after 18 played into the
problems in the scoring tent?
What is certain is that rule 6-6.d in the USGA Rules of Golf
says: "The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the
score recorded for each hole on his score card. If he returns a
score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified."
The sport's most famous scoring gaffe came at the 1968 Masters
when Roberto De Vicenzo signed for the wrong score. De Vicenzo
actually signed for a higher score on a hole, so he wasn't
disqualified, but he had to take the extra stroke, knocking him out
of playoff with Bob Goalby. "What a stupid I am," was De
Vicenzo's famous quote after the mistake.
In 2003, English journeyman Mark Roe was disqualified after
shooting 67 in the third round of the British Open. Both he and
Jesper Parnevik were disqualified because they forgot to exchange
scorecards before they teed off, meaning they marked their own
cards with the other player's scores. Roe would have gone into the
final round only two strokes off the lead.
Garcia's blunder was nowhere near as dramatic. With a three-day
score of 9 over, he would have been more than 15 shots off the lead
heading into Sunday.
Instead, he gets Sunday off and Weekley feels bad.
"I was never good at math," Weekley said, though to be fair,
that response was to a question about the FedEx Cup standings, not