Golfer Sergio Garcia (pictured left) made a racial remark about Tiger Woods (pictured right) during the European Tour awards dinner, and after initially saying he would not apologize for his comments, Garcia ended up apologizing, according to a NY Daily News report.
On Tuesday night, when Sergio Garcia was asked if he plans on hosting Woods for dinner at next month’s U.S. Open, Garcia responded, “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”
Soon after, Garcia apologized for his controversial comments:
“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during The European Tour Players’ Awards dinner. I answered a question that was clearly made toward me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”
Watch a news report about Garcia’s remarks here:
Unfortunately, the recent jab is just another in a series of back and forths between the golfing stars — who haven’t been the best of friends. Earlier this month at the Players Championship in Florida, Garcia accused Woods of creating a distraction in the gallery while he was taking a shot.
The two had words after the incident.
In a press conference a day before Garcia’s remarks when Woods was asked if he planned to resolve his issues with Garcia, he gave a succinct “No.”
Responding to Woods’ comment earlier Tuesday at his pre-tournament press conference, Garcia didn’t mince words. “That doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “That’s what he’s like. He called me a whiner. He’s probably right. But that’s also probably the first thing he’s told you guys that’s true in 15 years. I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out.”
Garcia also said that he wouldn’t bother calling Woods to settle anything.
“First of all, I don’t have his number. And secondly, I did nothing wrong and don’t have anything to say to him. And he wouldn’t pick up the phone anyway. But that’s OK. I don’t need him as a friend. I don’t need him in my life to be happy and that’s fine. It’s as simple as that. Like I have always said, I try to be as truthful as possible. Tiger doesn’t make a difference to my life. And I know that I don’t make a difference to his life.”
But on Wednesday, Garcia ended up backpedaling, apologizing for his inappropriate words, at a press conference:
“I want to extend a sincere apology,” he said. “I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I obviously was caught off guard by the question but don’t get me wrong, I understand that my answer was totally stupid and out of place and I can’t say sorry enough about that.
“Finally, most importantly, I want to apologize to Tiger and anybody I could have offended by the comment I made and just say I feel sick about it. I’m truly, truly sorry and hope we can kind of settle things down and hopefully move on.”
Woods finally responded to Garcia’s remarks via Twitter, writing:
The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate,” Woods tweeted, adding, “I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made.
During the press conference, when Garcia was asked whether his comments were racist, he said he didn’t mean it that way, “No, not at all. It wasn’t meant that way. Like I said before I was caught off guard with what seemed to be a funny question and tried to give a funny answer that came out totally wrong and I want to make sure that everybody knows I’m very very sorry and that I cannot apologize enough times.”