May
3
2013
Video: Sergio Garcia chips in short putt because Quail Hollow’s greens are so silky
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

The biggest story of the week has been and continues to be the state of the greens at Quail Hollow Club. Some say it’s due to a tough winter. Others say the new superintendent screwed up. Another says the Tour screwed them up with using crappy soil.

We’re not sure, but the greens are — to borrow a line from a friend — more chewed up than Evander Holyfield’s ear (and look crappy on television, apparently), so the pros are missing short putts. During the second round, Sergio Garcia even used a wedge to chip his six-footer on no. 3 to avoid a bump in his line.

You can watch it above. Sergio may make it look easy, but anyone who has tried it knows that it’s actually a bit trickier than it appears. First, the one-handed shot from the tree at Bay Hill, and now, the chip-in putt! — Sergio knows his trick shots

But that wasn’t all. Sergio had a pretty dramatic day. A television viewer called in to question how Sergio marked his ball on no. 17, saying he moved it forward.

​”What I did was I didn’t want to step on Billy’s line, which was behind me, so I kind of marked it behind the ball but from the side,” explained Sergio. “Then I put it straight up or straight down where I thought it was the same spot. I thought I put it as close as I could, obviously, with the coin still behind the ball.

“It looked like it might have moved a tiny bit, but the rules officials felt that obviously I didn’t gain anything by it. There are obviously a lot of times that you try to put it in exactly the same spot but it’s difficult to do, not just for me, but for everyone. They thought that it was fine.”

Before signing his scorecard, Sergio reviewed the tape with officials, who determined he didn’t gain anything from the mark in question. (Gosh, you don’t realize how silly golf can sound to the average sports fan until you say this stuff aloud or try to explain it to non-golf geeks.)

“The way my dad brought me up in golf and everything, he showed me that the game is the biggest thing,” said Sergio. “There is no tournament, there is no player bigger than the game.

“And I said if you guys feel like I gained something by, obviously, moving it  I don’t know how much, like a centimeter or couple centimeters, whatever it is, I’m fine with the two-stroke penalty. I’d rather take the two-stroke penalty than come out here like I was a cheater.”