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19th Hole

Rich Lerner’s Sergio Garcia joke: Big deal or who cares?



After Sergio Garcia’s debacle at the 15th hole yesterday, Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner fired off a tweet that was, honestly, something plenty of people were saying. But repeating what’s being widely bandied about, and putting it into the public sphere as a public figure are two very different things.

Here’s the tweet.

Last year’s Masters champion, of course, just named his first child Azalea, after Augusta National’s 13th hole. Firethorn is the name of the 15th hole where Garcia made the inglorious 13, yesterday.

Most laughed or groaned at Lerner’s joke, but not Angela Akins/Angela Garcia, Sergio’s wife (and Lerner’s former Golf Channel colleague).

Lerner, of course, promptly apologized, calling the tweet “a poorly timed attempt to lighten the mood, and Garcia was quick to accept his apology, but not without more scolding.

It’s an interesting case, GolfWRX members. What do you think? Much ado about nothing? Is Mrs. Garcia being oversensitive, or did Lerner cross the line by mentioning Sergio’s family?

Let us know what you think.

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  1. Dbuck47

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I agree that players’ families should be left alone, but this was not a serious jab, nor meant to be a personal attack. It was meant to be funny. Perhaps not in the best taste, but yes she over-reacted considering there is at present no second child. She got the let’s move on part right though.

  2. jc

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    know when I really could not stand Sergio the first time? During a Ryder cup match, the euros had won already but there were some matches still going on. The American is leading by 1 and they are playing the 16th or 17th hole. All of a sudden Sergio comes running down the fairway in front of them and actually skipping a bit…He ran up and grabbed the Euro guy and started hugging him. The euro an the American are looking at each other as if to say “What is the twinkle bell doing?” Finally he lets go and they can continue …. and for the new 20 years, we got to hear how good Sergio was going to be…

  3. jc

    Apr 9, 2018 at 11:33 am

    to begin with, it was kind of a dumb name to begin with…I am sure she will learn to hate it and find a nickname..studies have shown having a weird name does affect kids their whole life….as for his wife, she is on the pga tour sirius radio along with leadbetter’s daughter and neither know much about anything…a waste of time to listen to…
    so right now sergio has the same number of majors as y.e. yang and others. Come back when you win 5.

    • Robert Maranger

      May 11, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Yes and how many wins do you have.
      Like him or not he will be in the golf hall of fame; 31 victories world wide ,10 on pga tour including the Players and a Masters…making him well..great.

  4. Uncleadolf

    Apr 9, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Lerner will use his Jew card.

  5. Howard Kistler

    Apr 7, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    In the words of Sargent Hulka, “Lighten up Francis”.

  6. Dave r

    Apr 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    It’s fine to joke about Sergio and his 13 Mentioning his family is a bit overboard don’t you think?

  7. Dave

    Apr 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    What a stupid overreaction. It was funny. If I had made a 13 I would have made that joke on myself. People these days are looking to be offended. Angela and Sergio are perfect for each other—two spoiled brats.

    • Jim

      Apr 8, 2018 at 9:08 am

      This was my reaction as well. I was hoping he would use this moment to not take himself so seriously ( he already has a jacket), but turns out he and the “princess” are well suited for each other. Good luck with that at home, Sergio. I’m sure you’ve already been the “focus” once or twice already..

  8. Hawkeye77

    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Hardly a big deal either way, disappointed this site thinks it’s needed for clickbait.

  9. ogo

    Apr 7, 2018 at 10:30 am

    “Pyracantha is a genus of large, thorny evergreen shrubs in the family Rosaceae, with the common name firethorn. Pyracanthas are valuable ornamental plants, grown in gardens for their decorative flowers and fruit, often very densely borne. Keep in mind the extremely difficult and painful process to prune and maintain the shrubs. The thorns are easily able to puncture human skin, and when successful, the piercing causes a slight inflammation and severe pain.”
    Methinks the Garcias will never plant firethorn in their country garden estate… 😀

  10. Tom

    Apr 7, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Harmless joke. Personally, I think they should name the next one “Lugie”.

  11. Swing

    Apr 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

    It’s perfectly ok to poke fun at his 13, of course, but bringing a wife / family in it was distasteful and for a ‘professional’ golf sportscaster it’s inappropriate and disgusting. But, it’s Rich Lerner, is anyone surprised ?

  12. Dave

    Apr 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    RUN SERGIO RUN !!!! Overreact much Angela ?

  13. JThunder

    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:46 am

    EVERYONE has their own buttons that can be pressed, and anyone who claims they don’t is a liar. Every person on this forum will find *something* offensive, inexcusable, in poor taste… It’s easy to say “take a joke” when it’s someone else (or someone else’s family) who is the target.

    “Politically correct” is itself just a euphemism. The actual human value in question is called “empathy”. Before you say something publicly, you consider if it could cause discomfort, pain, problems. It’s common enough “on air” because the expectation is for commentators to fill every second of the telecast with 100% non-stop mile-a-second chatter.

    When it comes to posting those thoughts on public media – I suppose it’s hard to criticize Rich Lerner for lacking forethought and empathy, when he’s following the example set from the highest office in the land.

  14. stephenf

    Apr 7, 2018 at 1:11 am

    A stunningly ridiculous overreaction. Good _God_.

  15. yabba

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Lerner should suffer… just like Fuzzy did over his “chitlins” joke… 😮

  16. JuNiOR

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Typical Garcia MO reaction wouldnt expect anything less than the victim card lmao.

  17. Tim Armington

    Apr 6, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Harmless joke and a bit of an over reaction by a very over sensative Garcia family. Apollogies were given and accepted. Time to move on!

  18. Andrew

    Apr 6, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Kneejerk snowflakes be snowflaking. Don’t take it out on Rich just because Sergio won’t be around this weekend.

  19. Chris

    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    This joke was totally harmless. That’s one weird family.

  20. Horace Rollman

    Apr 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    It is not their job (reporters) to bring any person’s family into a professional setting….especially when they have never performed a such a high level…albeit a crafty remark keep it to yourself or your buddies and laugh alone!

    Now if Sergio would have said what Rich said…..the world could laugh with Sergio at a not so funny situation.

  21. Alcap26

    Apr 6, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Must have her panties in a wad. Good lord what an over reaction.

  22. MIKEYP

    Apr 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Great joke and a huge overreaction on Mrs Garcia’s part. Glad they found each other and got married. Two arrogant, self righteous, pompous, emotional nuts out of the dating pool.

  23. Kenny

    Apr 6, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    What did Angela think about Sergio’s “Fried Chicken” comment a few years back. I wonder if she was just as offended back then?

    • One Day At A Time

      Apr 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      “PC Police, we the people, introduce exhibits A and B.”

      Fried Chicken and Watermelon.

  24. One Day At A Time

    Apr 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    If that kind of humor gets policed, then the funny stuff will get incarcerated.
    In my opinion- without tone of voice and/or body language, context, etc., text has the capacity to be read from the worst point of view. I’m 100% for “leave the kids and family out of it” but this isn’t about a kid, it’s about the name selection process and if you name your daughter “Azalea” it would seem to me you’d be able to find the humor in not naming your next child “Firethorn”.

  25. Bob Parson Jr.

    Apr 6, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Muy stupido!

  26. James

    Apr 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    She’s just defending her husband who’s expressed self doubt in the past. It wasn’t meant to be hurtful, she just took it that way. Hopefully, Sergio can laugh the incident off when it’s over.

  27. Craig

    Apr 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Angela is right, but she’s NOT bashful. I was at the 10th green last Fall at the BMW at Conway Farms while Sergio, he was chipping or putting (don’t remember) and made a so-so shot and clearly HE wasn’t happy about it. The mother, father, daughter standing next to me made a mildly critical remark. The woman behind them immediately scolded them with ‘you have no idea how hard professional golf is, how much pressure the players are under, etc.’ It was Angela Garcia…

  28. Bob Sarvis

    Apr 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Lerner’s remark was funny. Her reaction was understandable. But when a major champion makes a 13, he or she is going to be the butt of many jokes for a few days. Thank goodness Sergio did this after he won his major. And anyway, that was a damn good putt for the 13. Remember what Arnie said many years ago at an LA Open after making a 12. Asked how he made the 12, he answered “I missed the putt for 11.”

  29. ron

    Apr 6, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Not a good joke and not a good time for it She was right and as she said Let’s move on !!

    • Jo

      Apr 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Not a good time for it? When was a good time then? 2 weeks after it happened? Just like I posted this 2 days after hahaha

  30. Jack Nash

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Lerner is an absolute idiot. He should be made to apologize “Immediately”. This guy thinks he’s Jack Whittaker re-encarnated but he’s just an overbearing, no nothing buffoon. A few weeks ago he made snide remarks about Miller talking about Rory, before that he was inserting himself into a convo he had no business being in. The guys nothing but a Hack.

    • Scott

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Jack, the joke was hilarious and you need to relax.

  31. Golfgirlrobin

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Leave player’s families out of it but she was happy to accept a radio gig that is wholly dependent on who she is married to.

    I feel badly for athletes whose spouses need to mix it up with the media or fans. It’s not a good look.

  32. BettiBoop

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Nobody cares about Player wives. Not sure why she even commented. Lerner’s tweet was hilarious and TRUE.

  33. Jason

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Was it ok for us to hear about how Azalea was named after the 13th and see the Azalea headcover with the caricature of the baby? It was? Then it is ok to hear about how the kid that doesn’t exist yet being named or not named Firethorn.

    • Ray Jackson

      Apr 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Agree 100% with Jason. This was a harmless joke and they did not turn down the publicity about their child being named after the hole. Double standard on Mrs Garcia’s part here.

  34. dyl

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    #1, lerner often makes weird jokes (at least this one didnt require 5+ mins of exposition like usual) on air, i find him wildly annoying and i watch less golf when hes in the lead chair
    #2, this was pretty funny

  35. Gerald Teigrob

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I can’t stand these politically correct morons. Angela is annoying and my boy Tiger is the best!

    • dyl

      Apr 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      true, the real story here is that big cat is teeing off in 35 mins

  36. Walter Jenkins

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    A total over reaction. The Garcia’s need to lighten up.

  37. Mike Cleland

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I agree with Sergio. Not funny or appropriate. Family members are not public personalities & should not be included in commentaries. Same with the families of politicians.

    • Judge Smeills

      Apr 6, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      So why do they always zoom in the winner’s wife every week and talk about their kids

  38. HappyDuffer

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Good thing the Garcia’s don’t have any emotional baggage they unload.

  39. Bob

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Perhaps Learner’s quip was a bit untimely, but Mrs. Garcia’s response seemed an overreaction. Much to do about nothing.

  40. mbrown9

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I think the only reason to be offended here, is she was seriously thinking of Firethorn for the name of her next child. Since that would be the only reason to possibly get offended, she has other things to worry about.


    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I’ve stopped watching The Golf Channel shows when Lerner, Chamblee, and Rymer are on camera. All are extremely annoying. Bring back Peter Kessler and use “Bones” more along with Duval and Nobilo in discussions.

    • Judge Smeills

      Apr 6, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      why not bring back Brian Hammons and Donna Caponi while your at it

    • rymail00

      Apr 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Honestly I find Rich Lerner to be quite annoying on the GC. Maybe he’s a good guy in real life but on TV he annoys me.

  42. Heavvy

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Can people not take a joke anymore? And it wasn’t even offensive. Some people are just wound up too tight and can’t appreciate a little light humour. I think she’s just pissed that the reigning Masters champ is in second last place. How many times is that stat going to show up on TV…

  43. James T

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:29 am

    As tweets go Lerner’s was pretty tame. My concern is Angela’s reference to “my future child”, not “OUR future child”.

    • Jim Garner

      Apr 6, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      Exactly, Sergio always says WE!

      Angela needs to lighten up.

  44. Armando

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Absolutely no harm in the joke – none! If Lerner would have been interviewing Garcia I’m sure he would have laughed too. Moving on…

  45. joro

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    `Typical Scnoz remark. Wonder if he would have said it if it was Tiger when his “Wife” was pregnant. I think Kelly must have trained him in Stupid. Oh well


      Apr 6, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Lerner is a total moron with no sense of what is appropriate. time for him to just go quietly into oblivion.

  46. Jimmy

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    In the immortal words of Sgt Hulka, lighten up Francis. Absolutely nothing wrong with the joke.

  47. Begemot

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I laughed initially but understand how Angela and Sergio might take it. Good for her for calling him out and good on him for the quick apology. It is just too easy with twitter to get foot in mouth disease…in a normal conversation only a few people hear it. On twitter thousand are witnesses. Think before you tweet.

    • Scott

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      This was a funny joke and there is ZERO way to take this wrong. Spare telling Lerner how to tweet and go work on getting the president to stop.

  48. Matt

    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Phew.. red flag Sergio. Prob too late to get out. My wife is pregnant right now, so I suppose I should understand what she’s talking about. No frickin clue though.

    Azalae is a pretty nice name actually. She’s got to RELAX.

  49. Man

    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Take him out the back and lynch him, as Kelly Tilghman might say

  50. Mark

    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Is she pregnant? If not, then Lerner’s joke is completely speculative and for me there is nothing wrong with that. There may never be a second child (for a number of reasons).

    If she is, then it is probably best to not, publicly, make a joke which references Sergio’s family.

    Poor Lerner. He is always desperate to do the right thing as well as to be liked. He must be mortified.

    • Robert

      Apr 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Eh, I don’t see any harm in the joke, even if Mrs. Garcia was pregnant. Plus, it was a great reference to the (in my opinion) fantastic name of their first child. If I were in that situation, I’d have laughed and agreed wholeheartedly.

      • Art Williams

        Apr 6, 2018 at 8:40 pm

        Too early! It was quite humorous but they just had the baby and new mothers often are over sensitized for awhile. Time will settle this unintended gaffe. Rich Lerner is a quality guy and truly meant no disrespect. I’m betting in time the Garcia’s will have a good laugh at this.

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19th Hole

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