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Sergio Garcia was frantically trying to salvage his reputation on the professional golf tour after making remarks about Tiger Woods that had ugly racial overtones. Garcia, who has been feuding with Woods for some time, was on stage at a European Tour awards ceremony and mockingly said he would serve Woods "fried chicken" if Tiger wanted to come to dinner. It was widely interpreted as a racial slur.
If Garcia had hoped that he would get away with what he called a "silly remark", he was mistaken. He has been condemned by many in the sport. Woods said, "The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate." Woods did say that he was willing to accept an apology. "I'm confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. It's long past time to move on and talk about golf."
Garcia, obviously briefed about the extent of the offence caused, called a press conference at Wentworth to say sorry again. "I want to send out an unreserved apology, I did not mean to offend anyone," Garcia said. "I was caught off guard by the question but don't get me wrong, I understand my answer was totally stupid and out of place. I can't say sorry enough. Finally and most importantly I want to apologise to Tiger and anyone that I could have offended. I feel sick about it and truly, truly sorry. Hopefully we can settle things down and move on."
The feud came to a head at the Players' Championship at Sawgrass in mid-May, where Woods beat Garcia. The Spaniard had been upset by Woods pulling a club out of his bag just as Garcia was about to play a shot and the excitable Garcia had complained long and loud about the incident to the press. Woods, detached and amused, had dismissed Garcia's complaint with cool disdain.