Sergio Garcia says he did his best to handle what happened on the 15th hole on Thursday like a Masters champion should.
Garcia suffered a nightmare score of 13 on the hole after dumping his ball into the water five straight times.
As you can imagine, social media was abuzz with reaction – and jokes – after the incident, but Garcia’s wife Angela took exception with one joke in particular from Golf Channel reporter Rich Lerner.
Lerner tweeted that Sergio wouldn’t be naming his next kid Firethorn, the name of the 15th hole at Augusta.
Sergio won't be naming his next kid Firethorn.
— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) 5 April 2018
That’s a reference to Sergio’s new daughter Azalea, who was named after the 13th hole at the famous Masters course. The joke drew an angry response from Mrs Garcia, who hit back:
— Angela Garcia (@TheAngelaAkins) 5 April 2018
Lerner was quick to apologise:
My apologies to Angela and Sergio for my poorly timed attempt to lighten the mood. Missed the mark with a flippant comment. No ill intent.
— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) 6 April 2018
Angela then accepted the apology:
Thank you for your apology, @RichLernerGC. I always appreciate a good sense of humor and a good joke, but when you reference a player’s family it’s not appropriate. If people really thought about it they might agree. All good and we can move on. https://t.co/sSxjwUnevu
— Angela Garcia (@TheAngelaAkins) 6 April 2018
The exchange also prompted a response from Sergio himself, who took the joke with good humour, while also offering some insight into how he felt about what happened at the 15th:
What happened on 15 @TheMasters yesterday was unfortunate for me and it hurt but I tried to handle it like a Masters Champion should. That same hole gave me that green jacket last year so we might end up naming our next kid Firethorn after all, funny man!😉 https://t.co/vMIDTMGhrf
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) 6 April 2018
That’s a pretty classy response from Sergio, and he did indeed handle the situation with dignity, and even managed to bounce back with a birdie at 16.