Sergio Garcia ‘fried chicken’ comment draws Tiger Woods’ ire
BY HERB GOULD firstname.lastname@example.org May 22, 2013 9:46AM
Sergio Garcia took his feud with Tiger Woods to another level when he hurled a "fried chicken" comment at his rival on Tuesday at the European Tour awards dinner in England. | AP Photos
Updated: June 24, 2013 1:49PM
What’s up with Sergio Garcia? It isn’t enough that he dunks the ball in the water with the tournament on the line.
Now he’s put his foot in his mouth in a most inappropriate way.
Asked if he’ll invite Tiger Woods, whom he has been sparring with lately, to dinner at the U.S. Open next month, showed no tact at all.
``We’ll have him round every night,’’ Garcia said at the European Tour awards dinner in England on Tuesday.
``We’ll serve fried chicken.’’
No history buff, Garcia seemed to forget all the trouble Fuzzy Zoeller got into after the 1997 Masters, when he joked that fried chicken would be served when Woods hosted the champions’ dinner.
Garcia’s gaffe tops Zoeller’s. That seemed to be merely a misguided attempt at humor. Considering the bad blood between Woods and Garcia, the Spaniard’s remark ramps up a feud that that ought to be put on the back burner.
``The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate,’’ Woods tweeted on Wednesday. ``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.’’
Garcia issued a strong apology for the remark.
``I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment,’’ Garcia said. ``I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.’’
Garcia later added, ``My answer was totally stupid and out of place. I feel sick about it.’’
Garcia had complained during the Players Championship two weeks ago that Woods had created a distraction when Garcia was about to hit. Woods replied that a marshal had told him Garcia had finished hitting his shot. Woods went on to win the tournament, aided by a pair of shots that Garcia put in the water down the stretch. The two golfers have been trading barbs since the Players, where Woods won his fourth tournament of the year.
Asked Monday if he’ll reach out to Garcia to defuse the bad feelings, Woods simply said, ``No,’’ provoking laughter at a media-day gathering.
Before making his fried-chicken comment later in the day, Garcia said Tuesday, ``You can’t like everybody. There’s people you connect with and there’s people that you don’t. You know, it’s pretty much as simple as that. I think that he doesn’t need me in his life, I don’t need him in mine, and let’s move on and keep doing what we’re doing.’’
After this week’s verbal sparring, moving on won’t be easy to do.