Spaniard Sergio Garcia’s errant tee shot on the third hole of Sunday’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was nearly the most costly golf shot ever as it knocked a solitaire diamond right out of the setting of a spectator’s engagement ring — and out of sight.
Clever commentators on CBS were quickly calling the incident a “diamond in the rough,” which is literally where the lost gemstone ended up.
Garcia, who had been leading the tournament at the time, arrived on the spot to find a woman in a grey top showing the CBS cameras the empty four-prong setting of her engagement ring.
Seemingly shaken by the mishap, Garcia signed a golf ball and handed it to the surprisingly cheerful woman. He also apologized to her and asked tournament officials to get the woman’s contact information so he could make good on her loss.
After a few minutes of searching through the gnarly rough at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, a young patron finally spotted the diamond and returned it to its owner.
When asked by golfchannel.com how he felt about the incident, Garcia said, “Obviously, it didn’t feel very good. You never like to hit anybody, but if you hit someone and make her lose her diamond, it feels even worse.”
Garcia also revealed that he was prepared to buy the woman a new diamond if the original couldn’t be found. “I don’t know how [my fiancée] Kathy would have felt about that, but other than that, it was okay,” he said.
Garcia, who currently stands at #3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, had tied the course record with a 61 on Friday and mounted a six-shot lead. But, after plunking the spectator, Garcia’s fortunes turned south. He went on to bogey the third hole and eventually placed second in the tournament to a surging Rory McIlroy, who won by two strokes.
Check out the two-minute video of Garcia’s notorious tee shot and its crazy aftermath. It’s been viewed more than 223,000 times on YouTube.
Images: YouTube screen captures