Monday, March 25, 2013

Sergio Garcia is a weird dude

This post will be one of those "quick-hitters" that I mentioned in my welcome-back post earlier today. Just thought I'd put that out there in advance, in case you were wondering (I should also mention that "Clip of the Week" and "Quote of the Week" are being done away with, at least in their traditional formats—if I come across a clip or a quotation that's share-worthy, I'll share it immediately without further comment, rather than waiting for the prescribed time. Okay, good talk.)

Either way, we need to talk about this shot, played yesterday down at Arnold Palmer's tournament at Bay Hill (which Tiger won, which puts him back as the world #1, and all credit goes to Lindsey Vonn, because why not). Sergio Garcia, everybody:

The shot itself is obviously impressive enough, and I give Sergio huge credit for even trying it. But it's the context of the shot that makes it most noteworthy in my eyes. Because after playing this shot, Sergio badly chunked his next shot, made a double-bogey on the hole, and then walked off the course and withdrew from the tournament 2 holes later, with only 6 holes left to play. He cited nagging injury problems, injuries that were apparently exacerbated by the (odd) decision to climb a tree and play the shot this way rather than just taking an unplayable lie. Weird dude, man. Weird dude.

But also, as a long-time golfer and fan of the game, I have to wonder: why was he allowed to climb on top of a golf cart in order to get up into the tree? If you follow the game at all, you'll know that golf is full of all sorts of obscure, bizarre, and outdated rules that generally continue to pretend that golf is being played in the 19th century where electricity and television don't exist, and that there's nothing but a man and a golf course out there, relying on his own honor and that of his playing partners.

If you don't believe me, ask Craig Stadler or Dustin Johnson or this guy or really any of the guys on this brutal list. Or just go back and read this post or this post, some of the first work that I ever produced for this blog. Golf rules are nutso. Period, end of story.

And so, if Craig Stadler can be DQ'd from a tournament for kneeling on a towel, and if golfers can be routinely disqualified for signing scorecards that have the wrong numbers on them, even though TV cameras (and ShotTracker representatives) have followed their every move, to the inch, and therefore everyone in the world knows exactly what everyone's score is... then why is Sergio allowed to receive "assistance" from a golf cart that just happens to be sitting there? Isn't that an unnatural advantage? If he can use the cart to stand on, then why can't he use it to ride around the course from shot to shot (pipe down, Casey Martin)? Why can't we give a guy a ladder or a rake or a scuba suit to help him play his next shot? It's weird, no?

Golf rules baffle me. So does Sergio Garcia. But this shot was still awesome, no matter how you cut it.

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