DALLAS -- Fans near Tiger Woods cheered during Sergio Garcia's backswing Saturday at the Players championship.

It led to a snarky back and forth, culminating with Garcia saying this about not being paired with Woods Sunday:

"It's good for us both," Garcia said. "We don't enjoy each other's company. You don't have to be a rocket engineer to figure that out."

The PGA Tour is full of different personalities. Guys don't all get along, but rarely does it play out this publicly.

Given what happened this weekend, it's ironic that the Tour sets up shop this week in the shadow of the man known as the ideal model of the gentleman golfer, Byron Nelson.

And it also raises this question: If he were Woods or Garcia, what would Nelson have done?

"With the noise in the background as he was swinging, he might have just shrugged his shoulders. He didn't pay much attention to that," said Byron's wife, Peggy Nelson. "On the other hand, if he'd been over there with the crowd, I think he would have made awfully sure that the other player had already hit."

Lord Byron was a fierce competitor, though, and one time confronted fellow great Sam Snead.

"Sam was known for just walking off the green before the other players had putted out," Mrs. Nelson said, "so Byron had just about enough of that, and he said, 'Sam, stop right there.' And so Sam never did that again."

2005 Nelson champ Ted Purdy said he's good friends with both Woods and Garcia, and he says the spat is good for the game.

"The more that you guys are talking about golf, the better," Purdy said. "So a little friendly rivalry is great for the game, absolutely."

Some golf fans counter though, that both Woods are Garcia are like Sergio's tee shots Sunday on 17 -- all wet.


Read or Share this story: