• The Players Championship, Round Three

Garcia and Woods in 'respect' spat

ESPN staff
May 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

The Players Championship leaderboard

Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia appear set for a tense conclusion to their third round at the Players Championship on Sunday, after the Spaniard accused the world No. 1 of a lack of respect.

Garcia, the joint-leader heading into Saturday's rain-affected play, felt aggrieved at an incident on the second hole - where he made a bogey at the straightforward par-five after a woeful second shot.

Garcia apportioned some of the blame to Woods for his sliced approach with a fairway wood - saying that cheers from the crowd at the other side of the fairway, sparked by Woods' decision to escape from the trees with a similar club, had affected him on his backswing.

"Well, obviously Tiger was on the left and it was my shot to hit," Garcia said. "He moved all the crowd that he needed to move, I waited for that.

"I wouldn't say that he didn't see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit and right as I was in the top of the backswing, I think he must have pulled like a five-wood or a three-wood and obviously everybody started screaming.

"So that didn't help very much. But it was unfortunate because - I mean I might have hit it there if nothing happens, you never know - but if I hit a good shot there and maybe make birdie, it gets my day started in a bit of a different way."

He added: "There's really not much you can do. I think that I try to respect everyone as much as possible out there. I try to be careful what I do to make sure it doesn't bother the other players."

Woods denied acting inappropriately, however - saying he had been misinformed by a marshall that Garcia had already played his shot.

The 14-time major champion was deep in the trees at the time, meaning he had little way of knowing when Garcia was about to hit. Nevertheless, he could not resist a dig at Garcia in the aftermath.

Woods said: "The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot, and then I hear his comments afterwards, and not real surprising that he's complaining about something."

The duo will return on Sunday with four holes to play of their third round, with both sitting two shots off the lead at ten-under par. That advantage is held by Sweden's David Lingmerth, who is four-under for his round with just the 18th still to complete.

Compatriot Henrik Stenson is one shot back, making three birdies on the front nine before weather delays seemed to affect his rhythm - with two bogeys prior to play being cancelled for the day dropping him out of the lead. The former Ryder Cup player has two holes to try and pick up addition shots before the fourth round, however.

Of the players to have completed 54 holes, Jeff Maggert leads in the clubhouse at nine-under - with England's David Lynn and American Hunter Mahan both safely positioned at eight-under.

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