The saying goes “Those people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. A simple saying that I heard my parents say as I grew up simply translates to shouldn’t criticize other people for bad qualities in their character that you have yourself. I admit, I’ve had my transgressions after all and the last time that I checked, I wasn’t a saint. That said, I feel like I can discuss today’s article and still look at myself in the mirror.
The first thing that I wanted to talk about is Sergio Garcia and his tirade in the desert. Now before I get rolling on this I just wanted to say that I’m going to try to be as objective as I can be. When it comes to my opinions of Sergio Garcia they’ve ranged anywhere from I like the brash teenager running and scissor-kicking his way up the fairway, to totally disliking him viewing him as a petulant primadonna, to liking him and giving him a chance after he appeared on Feherty, to really disliking him after watching him conduct himself in a practice round during the 2018 RBC Canadian Open. It appeared that he didn’t want to be there but appearance fees are dollars in the bank account. Then again, who did want to be there the week following The Open Championship? I guess there’s a degree of me that dislikes more than likes him.
We’ve seen the pictures or the video of Sergio in the bunker having a mini-meltdown, tirade, or tantrum. Whichever you elect to call it. however, if you haven’t let’s see “Exhibit A”.
As tempting as it is to break down his mechanics like I have recently about Choi Ho-sung and Matthew Wolff I won’t. It goes without saying that he was peeved and I wish that I could translate what he was saying. But, was he really mad at the state of the bunkers? Or was it his effort out of the bunker? I’m pretty sure the conditions of the course at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City were pretty good. But the issues for Garcia “snowballed” and he was later disqualified from the tournament (Rule 1.2a allows for disqualification if a player has committed serious misconduct. He later offered an apology ““I respect the decision of my disqualification. In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologize for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”
But do you accept his apologies? I asked on Twitter and you responded.
It was a small number of responses but it was a close poll. 54% of the respondents said yes. By the way thanks to all of those that took part in the poll. Out of some of the explanations for those saying yes among them was from individuals from Europe that appreciate what he’s done for European Ryder Cup Teams. I understand and respect that and other opinions that people give. Always! Here’s my issue. Sergio is nearing 40, a peer (Brooks Koepka) said that he “acted like a child” (no argument here) and it’s not like he’s a first-time offender. There is a little bit of a history of him having tantrums where if he was playing in the NHL, Sergio would have been suspended for 40 games by now for being a repeat offender.
Heck, Happy Gilmore got thrown off of the TOUR for less and nearly cost him a “Yellow Jacket”. We know that he won’t be suspended for his actions. But, I would love to see him be “put to work” by The European Tour and the Kingdom of Saud and work on their greens crew raking bunkers all day and fixing the damage that he caused. Sergio, those guys work their asses off to make sure that these courses are in pristine condition for you, your peers and the others that play the course.
While I’m at it I just wanted to touch on the Matt Kuchar situation. I know that I’ve already written about it but as of today, it reached a conclusion. First, I wanted to say that I’ve always liked Matt Kuchar but I have definitely soured on him in light of “CaddieGate”. I always viewed Matt as one of the “good guys” on TOUR but the way that he handled the payment situation after his win at the Mayakoba Classic was a touch off base. I respect the fact that he and his local caddie agreed upon the $5,000 USD for the week. However, I just think that when he won I think that he should have had the wherewithal to consider the original agreement “null and void” and pay the man his dues. Maybe not the full 10% but more than the 5K.
“For a guy that makes $200 a day, $5,000 is a really big week” – Matt Kuchar
As of today (February 15th) Kuchar has said that he’ll be issuing an apology to the caddie, he’ll pay the remainder of the $50,000 he requested, and donate money back to the tournament to be distributed to charities. In a statement, Kuchar went on to say…
“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,”
In the same statement, Kuchar followed up by saying…
“They made it seem like I was marginalizing David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed. That is not who I am and not what I want to represent. My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down. I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.”
I’m glad that his caddie David Ortiz is getting his payday. The man deserved it. But there are things that I don’t like about this situation. The first is that it got to this point in the first place. If you’re Kuchar you can’t seriously be that oblivious to the situation. You have to realize that when you were signing your card in the scoring tent that the original agreement was “dead”. Secondly, the fact that the caddie came out about the situation the way that he did. Talk about a “Festivus-style” airing of grievances. Ortiz, my man, you really knocked this one out of the ballpark. Then again, if he doesn’t does he get paid? Thirdly, did Kuchar cave because of media/social media pressure? Last but not least, I actually saw people criticizing Kuchar’s sponsors. What the heck does Bridgestone Golf and Skecher’s have to do with the situation? Get a grip, folks!
Frankly, Garcia’s propensity for immaturity and Kuchar’s “insensitivity” should never have been a story and I should have been writing about “CaddieGate” in the first place. Instead, this time and energy should have been exerted on a review or press release.
Until The Next Tee!!