Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia have been rivals on the golf course for years, but their feud has continued off the course in recent weeks. Garcia fanned the flames with an inflammatory comment on Tuesday, and Woods responded sternly on Twitter.
According to Ewan Murray of The Guardian, Garcia cracked a joke about Tiger at a European Tour awards gala when asked if he and Woods would have dinner at some point during the U.S. Open. "We will have him round every night," Garcia said. "We will serve fried chicken."
It's easy to see why some might consider that comment to be racially charged, including Woods, who offered his thoughts on Wednesday.
The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate...— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 22, 2013
I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 22, 2013
Woods also seemingly attempted to put an end to their public spat once and for all when he placed emphasis on golf rather than personal differences.
The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 22, 2013
Although Tiger has often been portrayed as the "bad guy" throughout this situation, he is the one who appears ready to take the high road.
Garcia took to the media on Wednesday in order to offer his side of the story. During a press conference which aired on Golf Channel, Garcia showed remorse for his comment.
"My answer was totally stupid and out of place...I feel sick about it." -Sergio Garcia, now, apologizing to Tiger and others.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 22, 2013
Garcia apologized profusely throughout the press conference and regretted that he made the comment in the first place.
Sergio Garcia: "Unfortunately I said it. I wish I didn’t do it, but the only thing I can do is say sorry." That has been major theme so far.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 22, 2013
In addition to that, Garcia mentioned that he would like to apologize to Woods face to face. Until he can do that, however, he offered an apology to Woods and anyone his comment may have offended.
Sergio Garcia: "I want to apologise to Tiger & anybody I might have offended by it. I feel sick & I’m truly sorry livearticle.skysports.com/Event/Sky_Spor…— Sky Sports (@SkySports) May 22, 2013
The golfers' rivalry intensified during the Players Championship two weeks ago. Woods and Garcia were paired together during the third round of the tournament when things went awry on the second hole.
Did Garcia's "fried chicken" comment cross the line?
Garcia hit a poor shot, and he later went on to blame the errant shot on Woods pulling a club out of his bag and eliciting a response from the crowd. This incident led to differing accounts of what happened from a number of course marshals, and things have snowballed from there.
While most of the shots fired between Woods and Garcia prior to Tuesday night were related to golf, Garcia may have hit Woods below the belt with his latest comment.
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