Garcia cleared of rules breach in Abu Dhabi

Sergio Garcia
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Sergio Garcia was cleared of any rules violation regarding an incident in which he tapped down a spot on the green in front of his golf ball.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 | 9:24 a.m.

Sergio Garcia found himself in the middle of a rules conversation early Friday morning before the start of his second round in the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Garcia met with European Tour chief referee John Paramor before the second round when it came into question that Garcia may have breached rule 16-1a in Round 1, where television cameras caught Garcia tapping the line in front of his ball on the 18th green.

Watch the video here:

In the meeting with Paramor, Garcia was cleared of any wrongdoing. Garcia explained that he was repairing a ball mark, which is perfectly legal.

GolfWeek reporter Alistair Tait wrote Friday that the incident upset Garcia and had these quotes from the Spaniard, who made the cut on the number:

"It does feel quite bad to be related to the word cheating when you have no proof and I've never ever cheated in my whole life. I have given myself plenty of penalty strokes when nobody saw it and I did.

"It hurt a little bit. I think people calling (in alleged rules violations) without having any proof is wrong. If you can really tell that it's wrong that somebody's cheated then that's fine but when you have no proof at all it's not. Being related to that word is the most disgusting thing that can happen to someone to me that has never, ever cheated. It was disappointing but it was good to clear it up with John Paramor."

Just a few months ago, England's Simon Dyson was at the center of a rules controversy after he was caught tapping down spike marks in front of his golf ball.

Dyson received a two-month ban for the infraction, as well as a $49,000 fine. Dyson made his return this week in Abu Dhabi, where he missed the cut.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.