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Sergio Garcia’s “Good, good?”

Posted by Peter Post  February 25, 2014 07:00 AM

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The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship held this past weekend at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ held more than its share of truly unique and surprising moments.

Watching Victor Dubuisson do the impossible twice was a once in a lifetime golf experience. On the first playoff hole, Dubuisson hit his second shot next to a cholla cactus leaving him a virtually impossible shot. He blasted out, landed near the pin, made the putt and tied the hole. He then did the same thing on the next hole—blasting his ball out from amidst a bunch of dead branches to again one putt and tie the hole. The wry smile on Jason Day’s face as he watched Dubuisson’s ball fly out of the brush and hop onto the green said it all—simply amazing.

Day didn’t look dejected, frustrated, or annoyed. Instead, he appreciated the magic he had just witnessed.

Perhaps, in some ways, the strangest moment occurred in the match between Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. On the sixth hole, Garcia’s ball had landed on what appeared to be a bee’s nest. The effort to drop his ball away from the nest and take his next shot consumed a significant amount of time. All the while, Fowler had to wait for his attempt at what seemed to be a sure-bet birdie putt. He missed. On the next hole Fowler faced an 18-foot putt for par while Garcia had a six-foot par putt. While Fowler lined up his putt, Garcia suddenly asked him, “Good, good?” Fowler was incredulous at first. But when he realized Garcia was serious, he jumped at the chance. Hole halved. Why did Garcia offer such a magnanimous good-good? “I felt like maybe I took too much time (on the sixth hole)," Garcia said. "That might have made a difference on his (missing a birdie) putt."

And then he added: "I like to be as fair as possible. . . . At least I feel good with myself, even though I lost." With the much shorter putt he might well have won the seventh hole and maybe the match. But his sense of sportsmanship took over; he tied the seventh; then he ultimately lost the match one down, and he never looked back. It’s why I love golf, both to play it and to watch it. While I appreciate Day’s smile, I’m really impressed by Sergio’s sportsmanship. Congratulations Sergio. Well done.

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About the author

Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."

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