Sergio Garcia said Wednesday he wants a meeting with Tiger Woods to apologize directly for the racist row that was sparked by his “fried chicken” comments at an official dinner.
Garcia has had a long-running feud with Woods and it exploded on Tuesday night when he was questioned on stage at the annual tour dinner.
Garcia was asked if he would invite Woods for dinner and responded by saying he would have him round every night and serve fried chicken, stereotypically associated with black people in the American deep south.
Woods took to Twitter, calling Garcia’s comment “hurtful” before attempting to diffuse the row after the Spaniard had issued a statement though the European Tour saying he did not mean to cause the world number one any offence.
And Garcia has been in touch with Woods’ agent to apologise and attempt to set up a meeting with the world number one to sort out the problem once and for all.
Woods tweeted: “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate.
Garcia confirmed he had also apologised to European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and that no disciplinary action would be taken against him.
Garcia added: “I want to give an unreserved apology. I was caught off guard by a question and I understand my answer was totally stupid.
The remark rekindled memories of Fuzzy Zoeller’s comments when Woods first one the US Masters in 1997 and as holder could choose the menu for annual champions’ dinner.
Zoeller then said: “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.” He later claimed the comments had been misconstrued..
Woods’ mention of the Players is a reference to the row that he and Garcia had during the Players’ Championship at Sawgrass a fortnight ago.
The week was marred by Garcia’s spat with Woods – the eventual winner – on the third day when Woods disturbed the Spaniard as he was hitting a shot.
The incident spiralled into a war of words with Garcia telling reporters again on Tuesday that he did not like playing with Woods and the two would never be friends.
Then Garcia said: “You can’t like everybody. There are people you connect with and people that you don’t – it is as simple as that. He doesn’t need me in his life and I don’t need him in mine so let’s move on and keep doing what we are doing.”