#AskLav: Some free advice for Sergio


To borrow a now-infamous Sergio Garcia expression, it doesn’t take a rocket engineer to figure out that he needs some serious public relations help.

So here it is (unsolicited, of course): Stop talking.

You can’t help yourself, I know, but unless you’re announcing that you’ve donated $1 million to the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts, or the Tiger Woods Foundation, don’t talk to anyone holding a recorder. Not even numbskull Jose Canseco has had so many foot-in-mouth moments in a two-week span.

The thing is, this all could have been avoided. Frustrated by Tiger Woods’ ill-timed club selection at Sawgrass? Fine. Mention it briefly in the NBC sit-down. Then drop it. In subsequent interviews, refer to the previous remarks, then refuse to discuss again. Simple.

Don’t say “at least I’m true to myself.” 

And “he’s not the nicest guy on Tour.”

And “I’m the victim here.”

And certainly not the racially insensitive remark at the black-tie European Tour gala.

Garcia doesn’t speak with a filter, a polarizing attribute for someone with his global platform. Some fans appreciate his honesty. Others despise his petulance.

Would this outcome have been different had Garcia still been represented by mega-agency IMG, not the startup Impact Point? Perhaps. A seasoned pro – from an agency with more available resources – could have been in Garcia’s ear, telling him to keep quiet, telling him he couldn’t win this battle, no matter how wronged he felt. But ultimately, it is the individual’s choice.

As you can imagine, this week’s #AskLav mailbag was dominated by the Tiger-Sergio feud, once again:

Not really. Remember, fellow pros took a few cheap shots at Tiger even when he wasn't in form, circa 2011. This incident was more the culmination of a longstanding, simmering feud, when no longer could the two players disguise their discontent.

'If you were the CEO of TaylorMade-Adidas, would you retain a high-profile client who made a racially insensitive remark that became worldwide news?'

Would Sergio have incriminated himself here? Probably not. But his answer would have been fascinating nonetheless.

Rory's head is screwed on plenty tight. I had no problem with his decision to leave Horizon and start his own management company. As Lee Westwood said, that's probably what McIlroy should have done from the start. The kid sells himself. The only curious aspect was the timing of the decision. Why now, in the heart of the season?

Well, he'd be wise to avoid them. He should reiterate his apology, then say that he hopes to move on from this regrettable incident. A face-to-face talk with Tiger would help, too.

Agree. They've never been rivals. Tiger leads in every conceivable category, most importantly majors 14-0. In their previous encounters, Sergio was the guy at the 1999 PGA who pretended his club was a sword, and who celebrated like he won a major at the made-for-TV exhibition, and who complained about Tiger's perceived preferential treatment at the '02 U.S. Open. From Woods' perspective, until Sawgrass, Sergio was a nuisance and little else. Still might be.

Absolutely! How is banning the anchored stroke 'good for the game'? Professionals are skilled enough to find alternative ways to get the ball in the hole. The average golfer, not so much. The recreational player switched to the long putter because of physical ailments, or to cure the yips, or to simply sinkmore putts and make golf fun again. This ban is focused more on the touring pro than the Average Joe. Remind me: How is that good for the game?