Sergio Garcia vs. Tiger Woods: Remarks Sink Spaniard Deeper into Tiger Trap

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2013

May 10, 2013; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Sergio Garcia interviews after the second round of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods has one home in Jupiter, Fla.

The other is in Sergio Garcia's head.

The unfriendly rivalry between the two continues to spin out of control. Garcia decided to utter an unsavory remark at Tiger's expense while attending a European Tour awards dinner in England Tuesday.

According to Ewan Murray of the British newspaper The Guardian, Garcia was asked by moderator Steve Sands if he would be having dinner with Woods during the U.S. Open.

"We will have him 'round every night," Garcia said. "We will serve fried chicken."

Garcia has since apologized for his remarks, but it's hard to excuse his racial insensitivity. Garcia said the question was meant as a joke and so was his response (h/t CBS Sports):

I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during the European Tour Players' Awards dinner. 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.

Given all that's happened of late between these two, the comment is sure to receive plenty of media focus.

When the two played together in the third round of the Players Championship in Florida earlier this month, Garcia took umbrage with Woods for taking a club out of his bag just as the Spaniard was preparing to hit early in the third round. Garcia shot Woods a look at the time, and he appeared to be on edge throughout the rest of the round.

In the final round, Woods and Garcia continued to duel for the lead, but with a chance to either win the tournament outright or push it to a playoff, Garcia hit consecutive shots in the water at the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass and another on 18.

Woods would go on to win the Players Championship, his fourth victory of the 2013 season.

After the tournament, verbal sparring between the two continued. Woods recently called Garcia a whiner, and Garcia said that he thought Woods' unflattering assessment was accurate (via But he also said that it was probably the first true statement Woods had made in 15 years.

Woods and Garcia have been sparring with each other for a long time, and their relationship has had frequent flares. Bleacher Report's James McMahon detailed the awkward meetings the two have frequently engaged in since they first started competing with each other on a prime-time basis in the 1999 PGA Championship.

Garcia is going to have a significant public relations problem at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., next month. He will likely be the subject of intense media scrutiny that will no doubt be amplified after the remarks he made at the European Tour dinner.

However, he appears to have an even bigger professional problem. No matter what Garcia says, he can't get comfortable when he has to compete with Woods. His dunk-a-thon in the finishing holes at the Players Championship basically affirmed that, as Garcia just couldn't get Tiger out of his head after the Day 3 dispute.

Garcia may have a beautiful swing and a brilliant short game, but when the money is on the table and Woods is in sight, he turns into a blubbering oaf and simply loses his focus.

Garcia needs to realize that every word he mutters in Tiger's direction will be scrutinized. Hopefully he learns to watch his mouth and just play the game.