After win, Woods faces more scrutiny

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After win, Woods faces more scrutiny

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida - Tiger Woods has faced more scrutiny than any other golfer from his generation. Maybe ever. Just not this variety.

Woods won The Players Championship on Sunday for his fourth victory this year. Making it even more memorable, Woods ended his public spat with Sergio Garcia by posing with the crystal trophy. They were tied with two holes to play, and Garcia hit three shots in the water.

That all seems like B-material compared with the buzz over the drop Woods took on the 14th hole of the final round.

He hit what he called a “pop-up hook” with a 3-wood from the tee, and the ball landed in the water left of the fairway. Consulting with Casey Wittenberg, he dropped it some 255 yards short of the green. Woods then hit a remarkable shot short of the green, pitched on and missed a 6-foot putt to take double bogey.

The Internet has been alive with video showing the ball’s flight on the 14th, along with analysis dissecting what was and was not said by a TV analyst, and seemingly endless theories how the ball could possibly have crossed land where Woods took his drop.

The chatter won’t stop, even though there is nowhere to go with it.

Back to Sawgrass, where there was that Saturday incident with Garcia which was one case where Woods shared some responsibility.

The scene on the par-5 second hole was chaotic. Woods was so deep in the trees that it appeared it was his turn to hit. Garcia stood over his second shot for the longest time. There was a burst of cheers when Woods pulled out his 5-wood. Garcia finished his swing and looked over at the crowd, clearly frustrated.

Woods and Garcia don’t like each other and haven’t for the better part of 13 years. That much can be established.

“Not real surprising that he’s complaining about something,” Woods said of Garcia.

Both of them should have been put in time-out.

“It’s very unusual for an individual spat to get out,” Padraig Harrington said. “There’s no winners when that gets out there.

“I think when players have an issue, they find things. So if you don’t like somebody, you read things in, and you make more of a situation than there is.”

Lost in this mess is that Woods is playing golf at a very high level. He is four short of Sam Snead’s record for career wins. But it sure is a bumpy ride at the moment.

AP

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