Sergio Garcia temper flares after losing WGC Match Play hole with missed gimme putt
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Sergio Garcia temper flares after losing WGC Match Play hole with missed gimme putt

Sergio Garcia lost his cool on Saturday afternoon in his quarterfinal match against Matt Kuchar in the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, all over a 2-inch putt that cost him a hole at Austin Country Club.

Garcia had a par putt to win the par-3 seventh hole against Kuchar, but he missed the 7-and-a-half-footer and left himself a 2-inch putt that, under normal circumstances, would be instantly conceded by Kuchar for the tie (or halve). However, Kuchar had not given Garcia the 2-inch putt when he backhanded it in frustration and lipped it out of the hole.

Since Kuchar had not conceded the putt, Garcia's stroke counted, giving him a double-bogey 5 to Kuchar's 4 and costing him the hole.

Speaking to a PGA Tour rules official, Kuchar said he wanted to give the putt to Garcia. However, a putt cannot be conceded after the stroke on it is made, so Garcia's stroke counted and Kuchar was 2 up in the match.

“I made my putt, walked to the back of the green. Sergio, I saw, missed it,” Kuchar said after the match, which he won 2 up to advance to the Sunday morning semifinals. “As I looked up again, I saw he had missed the next one. I saw him off the green, and 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 I asked (the official). I said, ‘Listen, I don’t know how to handle this. I didn’t concede the putt. Sergio missed the putt.’

“Sergio said (it was) totally his mistake. He knew he made a mistake. I said I didn’t want that to be how a hole was won or lost.”

On the next hole, Garcia was visibly frustrated throughout, intimating in animated fashion to Kuchar that he should have conceded this hole to Garcia as a make-good for Garcia's error. Kuchar wasn't moved by the plea. Garcia lost the eighth hole with a bogey 5 to Kuchar's par, and Garcia showed his anger by feigning taking a full swing at his ball after a missed par putt.

Garcia made a comeback, however, getting from 3 down to 1 down after 16 holes. However, Kuchar halved the par-3 17th and won the par-4 18th to close out Garcia and the match.

Kuchar now faces Lucas Bjerregaard, who defeated Tiger Woods 1 up with a victory on the 18th hole in Austin, Texas.

The winner of the Kuchar-Bjerregaard tie takes on the winner of Kevin Kisner and Francesco Molinari, with the Ryder Cup hero having won 10 straight match-play contests dating back to last September in France.


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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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