Author: Jonathan Green
Having collected his second Players Championship title at Sawgrass, Tiger Woods insisted that his deteriorating relationship with Sergio Garcia had not crossed his mind as the two men battled for the lead on the final day, with the golf betting odds changing significantly over the course of the day with the likes of Titan Bet.
“We just go out there and play,” Woods said, refusing to rise to Garcia’s earlier provocation. Following the third day Garcia had said, “He’s not my favourite guy to play with. He’s not the nicest guy on Tour. We don’t like each other,” of his 37-year old playing partner.
Despite eventually winning the tournament by two strokes from Kevin Streelman, Woods had been tied with Garcia for the lead with just two holes to play before the Spaniard twice found the water on the 17th and then carded a double-bogey six on the last to fall way off the pace. In summing up after the tournament, Woods was pleased to have held his nerve, regardless of Garcia’s predicament, and he is now looking forward to continuing his good form in the run up to the US Open next month. “I had an opportunity to win the golf tournament when I was tied for the lead and I thought I handled the situation well and really played well when I really needed to,” Woods said. “That’s something I’m excited about,” he added.
The simmering tension between Woods and Garcia has been building for some time but it is clear that the American is handling the pressure much better than his Spanish counterpart. If Garcia is unable to manage his feelings towards Woods then the chances of him picking up his first major at Merion seem slim. The bottom fell out for Garcia recently with his now infamous “fried chicken” remark. Whether the comment was a joke or not, it was a new low for the Spaniard, and something that will haunt Garcia for the rest of his career.
Woods, on the other hand, seems to have a huge psychological advantage, and if he can take his confidence into the US Open then he will have a great chance of picking up his 15th major next month.