Sergio Garcia says everything's cool with Tiger ahead of Masters pairing
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Sergio Garcia says everything’s cool with Tiger ahead of Masters pairing

Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods are going to be totally cool today, you guys.

Garcia and Woods are paired together for the third round of the Masters on Saturday, in the same group for the first time since Garcia using a racial epithet to make a crack about Woods at a European Tour dinner during the BMW PGA Championship in May 2013.

Asked on stage about their icy relationship and how it would play out at the U.S. Open at Merion the next month, Garcia said, "We'll have him over every night (for dinner). We'll serve fried chicken."

The remark was similar to what Fuzzy Zoeller said about Woods' Champions Dinner plans as he was on the verge of winning his first Masters by 12 shots in 1997. Garcia apologized for the remark in a statement, then apologized to Woods in person with a handshake on the range at the ensuing U.S. Open.

Garcia's remark was the second incident involving the pair in a month. Paired together in the third round of the 2013 Players Championship, Garcia was angry when, on the par-5 second at TPC Sawgrass, Woods pulled a 5-wood to go for the green as the Spaniard was hitting his second shot on the other side of the hole. The crowd reacted to Woods' decision to go for the green -- a reaction Woods couldn't have expected -- leading Garcia to complain to the media during a weather delay and after play was called that day. Woods went on to birdie the hole while Garcia bogeyed. The next day, Woods won his second Players title.

The strained relationship between the two top players dates back to 2000, when Garcia won a televised primetime exhibition over Woods and celebrated as though he'd won a major championship.

Garcia reiterated on Saturday morning that, while the two have no love lost between them, that the Augusta pairing would be a professional one.


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