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It's a bad sign for DQ'd Garcia

NOTES

August 12, 2007|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

TULSA, Okla. -- If losing the British Open in a playoff after making a bogey on the last hole was galling for Sergio Garcia, then what does it amount to when he's disqualified at the PGA Championship for signing an incorrect scorecard for his score on the 17th hole Saturday?

"I just said 'Sergio, I put a 4, but you had a 5,' " said Boo Weekley, Garcia's playing partner who kept Garcia's scorecard. "He said, 'That just puts the icing on the cake.' "

And so went Garcia, who would have shot a four-over 74 if his scorecard were correct, but packed his bags instead.

Weekley shot a five-under 65 and didn't notice there was something wrong with Garcia's scorecard until it was too late in the scorer's area.

Garcia was not available to comment, but Weekley recounted the episode and said there was enough blame to go around.

"It's my fault for putting the wrong score in, but it's his fault for not checking," he said.

Weekley said he tried to get Garcia back into the scoring area after the scorecard had been signed, but Garcia had already left. And once a scorecard is signed and the player leaves the perimeter of the scoring area, there's nothing that can be done.

Garcia was one under after 28 holes, but played his last 26 in 10 over. He was ahead of only six players among the 71 who made the cut.

He had never been disqualified in a major.

On his way to a four-under 66, Trevor Immelman caught a break playing in the second group of the day at 8 a.m.

"Because you know what they were doing? They were pretty much syringing [watering] the greens right up until the first group got up there. I was able to fire at the flags. Obviously it's extremely hot out here, they're protecting against losing the greens. Lucky for me, the greens are soft, so I could shoot at it."

Immelman has improved each round at Southern Hills, from 75 to 70 to his six-birdie, two-bogey 66 in the third round.

He has struggled in the other majors. Immelman tied for 55th at the Masters, missed the cut at the U.S. Open and tied for 60th at the British Open.

Nathan Green's three-under 67 included a fortunate eagle at the 13th and a fortunate bogey at the par-four 16th when he knocked his drive off a tree and who knows what else.

"Something's dead," Green joked, after the ball bounced about 75 yards off the fairway.

Once upon a time, Ernie Els was the player considered most likely to contend with Tiger Woods for major titles, but a knee injury and inconsistent play didn't allow him to keep up.

At 37, Els may be making another move. He tied for fourth at the British Open and after his third-round 69 he's tied for fifth at Southern Hills -- trailing Woods, of course, by six shots.

Els, with three major titles, said he thinks he's getting better all the time.

"I am what I am, I can't change that," Els said. "Tiger, he's what he is and he's not making the mistakes I'm making. And in a way that's frustrating. But in a way that's got to be a positive too. If I can start eliminating mistakes, I can start really challenging for tournaments again."

--

thomas.bonk@latimes.com

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