In what was talked about Monday as “The Handshake,” Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia finally saw each other on the practice range for the first time since Garcia jokingly said last month that he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and “we will serve fried chicken.”
They shook hands on the range, a moment captured by a fan who posted it to his Twitter account.
Woods and Garcia had been going at it since the third round of The Players Championship. Garcia suggested Woods should have been paying attention when taking a club from the bag, which caused the gallery to cheer as Garcia was about to play his shot.
They traded barbs for the next few weeks through the media, which led to Garcia’s remark May 22 at a European Tour awards dinner in England.
Both are scheduled to have news conferences today.
ALTERNATES: Former Masters champion Mike Weir has done just enough at qualifying to earn a spot at the U.S. Open.
Weir got one of six spots that had been set aside to accommodate anyone who moved into the top 60 in the world ranking published Monday.
Kyle Stanley, who finished third at the Memorial, was at No. 60. He was the only one who qualified from the latest world ranking.
After that, five players who were alternates at the 36-hole sectional qualifying spots filled the 156-man field.
Weir lost in a playoff at the main Ohio qualifier and was first alternate. Also getting into the U.S. Open as a qualifying alternate were Ryan Palmer, Ryan Yip, Rikard Karlberg and Harold Varner III.
The next two alternates for the U.S. Open are Jesse Schutte and T.J. Vogel.
THE HOGAN PLAQUE: Most players have stopped in the 18th fairway at Merion to see the plaque that commemorates where Ben Hogan hit 1-iron into the green in the final round of the 1950 U.S. Open. It led to par to get him into a three-man playoff that he won the next day.
That’s a moment that won’t be duplicated this week. For one thing, that distance (214 yards) is more like a 4-iron or 5-iron for the modern player. Plus, no one carries a 1-iron.
Jason Day has one in the bag, though it’s stamped as a 2-iron. He had his equipment company bend the loft of the club so that it works like a 1-iron. Day has had it in play the past few tournaments. He’s not sure whether he will use it at Merion, saying it’s mostly for the British Open at Muirfield.
He dropped a ball by the plaque during a practice round Sunday, but he hit 4-iron instead.