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marshal takes shot at woods

Tiger Woods has been accused of "lacking character" as his war of words with Sergio Garcia at the Players Championship shows no signs of abating.

Tiger Woods has been accused of "lacking character" as his war of words with Sergio Garcia at the Players Championship shows no signs of abating.

Paired together at Sawgrass in a third round played over two days due to bad weather, it took less than two holes for tensions to come to the surface, with Garcia feeling he was put off on his approach to the second by crowd noise caused by Woods preparing for his own shot from the trees.

Woods insisted he had been told by marshals that Garcia had already played before pulling a fairway wood from his bag, with the fans cheering the indication that the world number one would attempt to go for the green on the par five. However, two marshals denied that was the case.

John North was the chief marshal for the first three holes, and said: "Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to him.

"I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character."

Woods went on to make a birdie on that hole and win the tournament, while Garcia made a bogey six and saw his hopes of the title disappear in the final round when he hit two balls into the water on the 17th.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Colsaerts will defend his Volvo World Match Play Championship title as the European Tour breaks new ground in Bulgaria this week, but only after his father arrives on a hastily chartered private jet with his clubs.

Colsaerts' first attempt to get his clubs and luggage to the spectacular Thracian Cliffs resort was thwarted by a strike at Brussels Airport.

Plan B saw his mother take his reserve seat on a flight from Paris to Sofia, but that flight was cancelled and when his mother eventually arrived at midnight, the luggage had not made the journey.

It was only when he appealed on social media for help that staff at Brussels Airport searched for and found the original missing clubs, allowing his father Patrick to bring them on a private plane arriving late last night.


"It was pretty intense," said Colsaerts, who will face South Africa's Branden Grace and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat in his group.

"It has been disruptive. I wasted two days and I wanted to play today."

Ian Poulter had no such problems despite travelling all the way from Florida, where he missed the cut at the Players Championship.

But the 2011 champion will still be one of the favourites to win the first prize of €800,000 given his brilliant match play record.

"It's going to be a tough group," said Poulter, who faces Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee tomorrow and South African Thomas Aiken on Friday.

"I'm not overly happy with my form the last couple of events. There is no real rhyme or reason why they were two poor weeks to be honest."

The 24-man field is split into eight groups tomorrow and on Friday, with the top two from each advancing to the last 16 on Saturday morning. The quarter-finals will be played on Saturday afternoon with the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Colsaerts is looking to become the first player since Ernie Els in 2004 to successfully defend the title.