May 3 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Yet another call from a television viewer prompted tournament officials to question Sergio Garcia about the manner in which he marked his ball prior to attempting a 4-footer for par at the 17th hole on Friday during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
But after a consulation in the CBS production trailer with PGA TOUR rules gurus Mark Russell, Tyler Dennis and Robby Ware during which the video was replayed in slow-motion, the decision was made that no infraction occured and Garcia's round of 68 was in the books.
According to Garcia, the viewer thought the Spaniard had marked the ball on the side and then replaced it in front "which would mean that I gained about an inch or an inch and a half," he said.
Garcia said he actually marked it behind the ball but from the side so that he wouldn't step on Bill Haas' line behind him. "Then I put it straight up or straight down where I thought it was the same spot. I thought I put it as close as I could, obviously, with the coin still behind the ball.
"It looked like it might have moved a tiny bit, but the rules officials felt that obviously I didn't gain anything by it," Garcia said. "There are obviously a lot of times that you try to put it in exactly the same spot but it's difficult to do, not just for me, but for everyone. They thought that it was fine."
Garcia said his father Victor always told him that the game is bigger than any player or any tournament.
"And I said if you guys feel like I gained something by, obviously, moving it, I don't know how much, like a centimeter or couple centimeters, whatever it is, I'm fine with the two-stroke penalty," Garcia said. "I'd rather take the two-stroke penalty than come out here like I was a cheater.
"Obviously, they felt that wasn't the case. I told them exactly what I did, and they felt it was fine. That's pretty much it."
Garcia will start the third round 4 under for the tournament and five strokes off the lead.