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Garcia will shake Woods' hand next time feuding pair meet

Tiger Woods reacts after being presented with The Players Championship trophy after winning the PGA golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte
Tiger Woods reacts after being presented with The Players Championship trophy after winning the PGA golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte

By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia's feud with Tiger Woods will not stop him shaking hands with the world number one the next time they are drawn together in a tournament, the Spaniard said on Tuesday.

Garcia blamed a roar from the crowd watching the 14-times major winner for an errant shot when the two men featured in the same group at the Players Championship in Florida two weeks ago.

The gallery erupted during the Spaniard's backswing upon seeing Woods reach for his five-wood for a daring escape from a tee shot deep into the trees.

Garcia acknowledged the two men were not friends when he spoke to reporters ahead of this week's European Tour flagship event, the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"You can't like everybody," he explained. "There are people you connect with and people you don't and it's pretty much as simple as that.

"He doesn't need me in his life, I don't need him in my life ... but it doesn't mean I can't play with him."

Asked if there would be a handshake the next time Garcia and Woods played together, he replied: "Of course. It is what it is and that's fine but it doesn't mean I can't play with him.

"There has never really been a true connection like I have with Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott or some of the other guys I get along well with.

"When I'm playing with someone who's company I enjoy there is a bit more talking. When you're playing with someone you don't fancy as much you're just a little bit quiet."

Garcia was rather more forthcoming about their relationship than Woods was 24 hours earlier.

Asked by a reporter on Monday if he planned to take the heat out of the issue by phoning the Spaniard, Woods replied: "No".

Garcia was right in the title hunt at the Players Championship until he sent two tee shots splashing into the water surrounding the island green at the 17th hole in the final round.

The world number 14's victory hopes were sunk by a quadruple-bogey seven but he said he had no regrets.

"Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt I had a great possibility of winning The Players for the second time and I was a little bit disappointed with the actual outcome," he added.

"But, at the same time, I was happy knowing the way I played, the way I kind of handled myself. I didn't hit that bad a first shot - it was just a little bit too soft.

"I was trying to win the tournament and I thought if I had the possibility of birdying a hole, the 17th was easier than the 18th," added Garcia.

"That's why I tried to hit it somewhere close to the pin. Overall though it was a great week and that's what I try to take away from it."

Garcia said he was looking forward to playing in the PGA Championship for the first time in 13 years.

"There is an amazing group of players here this week and I'm very excited about it," he added, referring to the fact that 11 members of Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup team are going to be in action at Wentworth.

"I just wanted to make an extra effort to be sure I could make it and it fits nicely into my schedule."

(Editing by Mark Meadows)

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