Two marshals say Tiger Woods never said anything to them about whether Sergio Garcia had played his shot. Two other marshals disputed that account, one of them saying he told Woods that Garcia had already hit on the second hole at the TPC Sawgrass.

In the days since Woods won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass (Fla.), the dispute has shifted from players to volunteer marshals.

It started Saturday in the third round when Woods was deep in the trees, some 50 yards to the left of Garcia in the fairway.

Woods pulled a 5-wood from his bag to play a high-risk shot, and the crowd cheered his decision -- right about the time Garcia was playing his shot.

Asked about the poor shot he hit that led to bogey, Garcia said Woods should have known the Spaniard was about to hit, and he suggested Woods might have instigated the disruptive cheer.

Woods said Garcia didn't have all the facts.

"The marshals, they told me already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot," Woods said.

The incident became testy when Sports Illustrated quoted two marshals as saying they told Woods no such thing. John North told the magazine, "Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to him. I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. ... He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character."


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The Florida Times-Union, however, quoted two marshals as saying there was communication between Woods and volunteers.

"It is definitely unfair to Tiger," Brian Nedrich said. "That's because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio hit."

He said when the crowd began to stir around Woods, marshal Lance Paczkowski tried to quiet them by saying, "The other player hasn't hit yet."

"That's when I yelled back at Lance, 'No ... he's already hit," Nedrich told the newspaper.

It became a particularly sensitive issue to the Woods camp because several websites had the word "lied" in its headlines.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said the comments from the marshals in the Florida Times-Union story "definitively show that Tiger was telling the truth about being told Sergio had hit. I hope this demonstrates to some reporters the importance of not jumping to misplaced conclusions."

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