Sergio Garcia suggested Matt Kuchar should give him the next hole to “make things even”.
Sergio Garcia had a seven foot putt at the par-3 7th to win the hole in his match against Matt Kuchar at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.
Garcia missed the putt and before Kuchar could concede the tap-in putt, Garcia swiped at the ball, missing the par putt.
Conceding a putt to your opponent is a common act in match play golf. But unless you hear your opponent give you the putt, you can’t just assume it’s been conceded.
Moments after Kuchar approached Garcia to tell him that although he would’ve given him the putt, he hadn’t actually had a chance to do so. Effectively meaning Kuchar won the hole.
Matt Kuchar did not have a chance to concede Sergio Garcia’s second putt.
Therefore, Garcia lost the hole.
Kuchar told the official he wanted to give Garcia the putt, but that cannot be done retroactively. pic.twitter.com/AJFF8N5J7h
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 30, 2019
Kuchar told rules officials he would like to give Garcia the putt but was told you can’t retroactively concede putts.
It was here that things got interesting with Garcia telling Kuchar he could perhaps concede Garcia the next hole.
Kuchar spoke after the round to explain what happened.
“I kind of made a mess of things with the hole. Ended up making about a 15-footer for a bogey. Sergio had about a 10-footer, I think, for par. I made my putt, walked to the back of the green. Sergio I saw missed it,” Kuchar said.
“And as I looked up again, I saw he had missed the next one. And I saw him off the green, I said, “Sergio, I didn’t say anything, I’m not sure how this works out.” I didn’t want that to be an issue. So I asked Robby Ware, I said, “Listen, I don’t know how to handle this, but I didn’t concede the putt, Sergio missed the putt.” Sergio said, totally his mistake.”
“He knew he made a mistake. I said, I didn’t want that to be how a hole was won or lost. And he said, “Well, you can concede a hole.” I’m not sure I’m ready to concede a hole. And just the rule played out with Robby stating how the rule works.”
“It’s not a — certainly I don’t use any gamesmanship, it’s not a match play tactic, it’s not anything. It was just one of those mistakes that Sergio made. And I said it’s kind of one of those tough deals in the game of golf.”
While it’s possible to look like this was a little tough on Garcia, Kuchar was playing only by the rules of match play golf.
Garcia to his credit took full responsibility but to suggest Kuchar should concede the next hole for his mistake was probably a little presumptuous.
“It’s quite simple: I screwed it up, it’s as simple as that,” Garcia said. “Obviously I missed my putt and I kind of tapped it with the back of my putter before he said anything. It’s a loss of hole. I understand that.”
“There are many options that you can do if you don’t want to take the hole, even though I’ve already lost that hole. But obviously he didn’t like any of the options that were there. It’s fine. At the end of the day, I’m the one who made the mistake.”