Sergio Garcia could have stopped after he whined about fans of Tiger Woods making too much noise on the golf course. He should have stopped after saying Woods is not a nice person who has been lying to the media since the first time he stepped into an interview room.
That he didn't close his mouth may end up to be Garcia's biggest regret in a career already chock full of them.
"The problem is, I'm one of the guys that has to say something," Garcia said the other day. "A lot of people think about it, but don't want to say anything."
OK, Sergio, you've had your say. Great line about the fried chicken, though I hate to tell you it's already been used.
Now it's time to shut up.
No need for further apologies like the one you made Wednesday about your attempt at a joke being totally stupid and out of place.
Unlike you, we figured that out easily enough when Fuzzy Zoeller said it at the Masters 16 years ago, and it's just as true today.
Just go away, somewhere where there's not a microphone in sight. Put away the sticks, and take the summer off.
Doesn't matter much anyway, because Woods is so far under your skin that there is no way you're going to beat him in the U.S. Open, the British Open, or any other Open.
Anyone needing further evidence should go looking for golf balls with the initials SG on them in the pond surrounding the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass.
Yes, this was all kind of funny up to a certain point. No one calls out Tiger Woods – at least on the golf course – and the thought of Woods and Garcia sniping at each other as the golf season heated up was an entertaining one.
The petulant child taking on the arrogant superstar. If nothing else, it was something to fill time while waiting to see if Woods was ever going to win another major championship.
Woods, for his part, seemed to welcome the feud, at least until Garcia stepped over the line. And it did add some spice to a vanilla tour.
Now we'll just have to be satisfied listening to them blandly thank sponsors and volunteers as they cash million-dollar checks.
"Get over it, we're out of junior high and high school," tour player Tim Herron said. "Just go play golf."
Not a bad idea, even if the advice comes a bit late for Garcia. Though the head of the European Tour said he won't be punished, Garcia will pay dearly for what he said.
He'll forever have to be subservient to Woods, never again be able to say anything even remotely negative about his erstwhile rival.
And for Garcia, that may be the worst punishment of all.