In a press conference that lasted a little more than 10 very awkward minutes, Sergio Garcia repeated his apology to Tiger Woods for a “fried chicken” remark he made at an awards dinner Tuesday night in London.
“I want to apologize to Tiger and anyone who I could have offended by the comment I made,” he said in his opening statement, calling his remark “stupid.”
Garcia said he was caught off-guard when he was asked whether he’d invite Woods to dinner at the U.S. Open and said the racial implications of the remark were unintentional. “It was a funny question. I tried to give a funny answer. …. I’m very, very sorry. I cannot apologize enough times.”
Over the last 11 days Garcia and Woods have sparred verbally since Garcia accused Woods of distracting him during the third round of The Players International on May 11. Boiled down to its essence, Garcia has called Woods a liar numerous times; Woods called Garcia a whiner. Woods, asked Monday if he’d be inviting Garcia to dinner to clear the air, replied succinctly, “No,” an approach that might have been best for Garcia on Tuesday night. Instead, Garcia said, “We will have him ’round every night. We’ll serve fried chicken.”
As he attempted damage control Wednesday morning, Garcia added that he’d like to apologize personally to Woods, but “I don’t have his phone number.” He said he attempted to call Woods’s agent, but he didn’t pick up.
Garcia said he spent a sleepless night in which “I felt like my heart was going to come out of my body.”
Woods responded on Twitter to Garcia’s initial statement of apology. “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate,” he said in a series of tweets. “I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.”