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.
Matt Kuchar did not have a chance to concede Sergio Garcia's second putt.
Therefore, Garcia lost the hole.
Kuchar told the official he wanted to give Garcia the putt, but that cannot be done retroactively. pic.twitter.com/AJFF8N5J7h
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 30, 2019
“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.
— Jamie in Green Bay (@jamieingreenbay) March 30, 2019
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.