Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia delivered stinging assessment of Tiger Woods: Not nicest

PGA Tour: Sergio Garcia teases US crowd with impressive putt

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Team Europe will need a monumental performance in the final session of the iconic Ryder Cup, which is taking place at Whistling Straits, on the shore of Lake Michigan. Team USA currently hold a six-point lead over their European counterparts, and require just three and a half points from their 12 singles matches to reclaim the cup. It has been a torrid two days for Europe, and their captain Padraig Harrington, but one shining light has been Spaniard Garcia, who has collected three of his side’s points alongside compatriot Jon Rahm.

Garcia is considered a Ryder Cup legend as he is Europe’s leading point scorer in history, and his side will be hoping he can inspire a remarkable turnaround.

In order for Europe to win, they must overturn a record-breaking deficit.

And although Garcia is among the game’s most enduring figures, he has found himself in rows with other professionals, including the game’s biggest draw in Woods.

Their clashes began after they went head-to-head in an incredible PGA Championship battle at Medinah in 1999.

Woods, 23 at the time, claimed his first title at the championship, and in the process his second major, one stroke ahead of 19-year-old Garcia.

In the two decades that have followed, both have taken aim at one another, but relations soured further in 2013, when Woods was victorious at the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

Garcia’s game collapsed during his round, and he blamed his American rival for riling up the crowd, which he would claim put him off his shot.

Speaking about the incident at the time, Garcia said: “I am not going to lie, he is not my favourite golfer to play with.

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“Tiger is not the nicest guy on tour.”

Woods responded upon hearing the quotes that Garcia was “probably right” about him being a “whiner”.

He added: “But that’s also probably the first thing he’s told you guys that’s true in 15 years.

“I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out.”

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It’s not just Garcia that Woods has appeared to have fallen out with, as the golfer’s ex-coach noted how he once sent rude messages about Englishman, and fellow Ryder Cup star, Ian Poulter.

Writing in his 2012 memoir The Big Miss, Hank Haney said the 15-time Major winner sent the messages while all three of them were on his private plane in 2007.

Mr Haney wrote: “Those he genuinely liked tended to be quiet, modest, hardworking guys like Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, whose ability he respected but whose talent didn’t elevate them to the position of serious rival.

“He kept the super talented at a distance. He didn’t want players who could be a threat to feel comfortable around him.

“He was averse to certain players, especially if he felt their records didn’t warrant all the talk. He wasn’t a fan of Ian Poulter, for example.”

Preparing for the final day, Harrington said it was “still possible” for his side to claim victory.

He said: “It’s only half a point more than we won in the singles at Medinah. There’s no doubt that is going to be strong in our minds.

“They have to just go out there and win their own individual match. They have to focus on that and not look at that bigger picture and focus on their individual self.”

The Ryder Cup concludes today.

It can be watched in full on Sky Sports, with highlights airing later on the BBC.

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