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Pebble Beach, Calif. — Golf barely made it out of January when it was hit with what must feel like a two-shot penalty.

Odds are the negative attention on the new set of modern rules will have subsided before those four glorious days in April during the Masters — unless, of course, the next man in a green jacket makes his final putt with the flagstick in the cup.

As for Sergio Garcia?

More bad luck.

His latest and most serious tantrum — damaging greens out of frustration at the Saudi International — comes in a year when the PGA Championship is held at Bethpage Black, where ruthless galleries can make even the fans at the Phoenix Open blush.

Any discussion, confusion and consternation over the new rules — particularly caddies standing behind their players — will pass soon enough. Expect some clarification on when and where a caddie can stand, no matter the part of the golf course.

Garcia won’t get off so easily.

The Spaniard took out his anger on a bunker during the second round in Saudi Arabia.

That’s nothing new for Garcia, but video of it got even more attention because it was all anyone had to show in lieu of the real crime.

The next morning, without any camera crews following his group, Garcia went after the greens.

That led the European Tour to disqualify him for “serious misconduct” covered in Rule 1.2.

According to the digital newsletter “Morning Read,” players behind Garcia noticed “clearly intentional” damage on at least two greens that would affect play for the rest of the groups.

Javier Erviti is the caddie for Renato Paratore, who was playing with Garcia, and he watched it all unfold.

He told the newsletter, “We are used to the passion because we are Latin.

“But I had the feeling that his anger level was too out of hand.”

Garcia apologized in a European Tour statement announcing his disqualification. He later told Juan Luis Guillen, a Spanish reporter working for Morning Read, “Sometimes you lose your head and later you realize what you have done.”

European Tour chief Keith Pelley did not sound as though Garcia would face more punishment when he told The Scotsman: “The incident is over. We have dealt with it.

“Sergio has apologized and we move on.”

Suspending him seems appropriate.

Then again, Garcia figures to be punished even more by playing, for he will be reminded of his actions the rest of the year, maybe the rest of his career, depending on the gallery.

In some corners, an equal volume of outrage was reserved for the first big flap over the new rules.

Li Haotong of China was docked two shots in Dubai when his caddie was walking away as Li was stepping into his final putt on the last hole of the event.

It didn’t look like the caddie was lining him up, and the penalty appeared harsh because it took him from a tie for third to a tie for 12th.

PGA Tour

AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM

Site: Pebble Beach, Calif.

Courses: Pebble Beach GL (Yardage: 6,816. Par: 72); Spyglass Hill GC (Yardage: 6,960. Par: 72.); Monterey Peninsula GC-Shore (Yardage: 6,958. Par: 71.)

Purse: $7.6 million. Winner’s share: $1,368,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel); 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS).

Defending champion: Ted Potter Jr.

LPGA Tour

ISPS HANDA VIC OPEN

Site: Geelong, Australia.

Course: 13th Beach Golf Links. Yardage: 6,625. Par: 73.

Purse: $1.1 million. Winner’s share: $165,000.

Television: Thursday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Minjee Lee.

European Tour

ISPS HANDA VIC OPEN

Site: Geelong, Australia.

Course: 13th Beach Golf Links. Yardage: 6,796. Par: 72.

Purse: $1.1 million. Winner’s share: $165,000.

Television: Thursday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Simon Hawkes.

PGA Tour Champions

OASIS CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Boca Raton, Fla.

Course: The Old Course at Broken Sound. Yardage: 6,807. Par: 72.

Purse: $1.7 million. Winner’s share: $255,000.

Television: Friday, noon to 2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 3-5:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Mark Calcavecchia.
 

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