Fowler stunned by Garcia concession on 17-foot putt

Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:54pm EST
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(Reuters) - Sergio Garcia was ousted by American Rickie Fowler in the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Friday in a match that will be remembered for a surprise concession by the Spaniard on the seventh hole.

Garcia, who had been two up after six holes, conceded a 17-foot par putt on the seventh green after feeling he had taken too long to take a drop from a sprinkler head on the previous hole with bees buzzing around his ball.

A stunned Fowler, in return, conceded the Spaniard's seven-footer for par to halve the hole and went on to win the match one up at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona.

"I don't regret it at all," Garcia told reporters about his generous act of sportsmanship. "He played much better than me on the last 10 holes and he deserves a win.

"This is a gentleman's game, and lately it hasn't felt like it's been like that. This is the way I was brought up by my dad, playing golf.

"At least I can leave here feeling good, even though I lost. And that's all there is to it."

Fowler, who came from three down after eight holes with five birdies over the closing stretch, was initially uncertain about what was happening on the seventh green.

"I had to kind of find out what he was asking or offering there," said the American. "Took me a few (minutes) to kind of realize. And obviously I'd be stupid to not take a half.

"I was outside of him. He had a good look for par. He had the advantage there. Anything could have happened. I was ready to make the putt, put the pressure on him.   Continued...

Feb 21, 2014; Marana, AZ, USA; Rickie Fowler speaks with Sergio Garcia (not shown) on the green of the seventh hole. The players agreed to give each other their respective putts "good-good" during the third round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports