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Once a Ryder Cup captain, always a Ryder Cup captain.

Or so it seems.

Just days after 2014 European skipper Paul McGinley called Matt Kuchar’s character into question over his handling over that carry-on with Sergio Garcia, it has emerged that Paul Azinger – the mastermind of America’s victory at Valhall in 2008 – didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Spaniard.

• OPINION – “Cheap shot reveals real Kuchar”

Commentating on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for NBC on US television, Azinger pointed the finger of blame for ‘Gimmegate’ squarely at Garcia.

“I think Sergio spun that whole debacle into being personal,” he said. “Sergio is hot-blooded. And I think he tried to make this thing personal, change the whole kind of mindset.

Paul Azinger

“Once you miss, you don’t just slap the next one. You have to be looking at your opponent. Just very careless.”

During the Sky Sports’ coverage of the event, McGinley said the incident gave an insight into what Kuchar is really like.

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“You see the smiley, nice Matt Kuchar,” said the Irishman. “[But] you’ve seen the incident with the caddie. There’s a hardness about him. Don’t be fooled by him.”

Kuchar and Garcia have since attempted to diffuse the controversy by appearing in a video together, which was posted to Garcia’s social media accounts, explaining their version of events.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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