Garcia set up a press conference on Wednesday to offer Woods a public apology for the following response when asked if he and Woods would possibly have dinner at some point during the U.S. Open (via The Guardian's Ewan Murray):
We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.
Garcia originally described his controversial response as a "silly remark," but Woods thought differently, responding to the comments with a series of tweets, including the following one:
Tiger Woods @TigerWoods
The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate...2013-5-22 12:40:45
Garcia explained himself to a room of reporters on Wednesday, and was sincere throughout.
I want to send an unreserved apology, didn't mean to offend anyone.
Garcia acknowledged that his comment may have been perceived as racist an admitted feeling guilty about it immediately after saying it according to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch:
Richard Deitsch @richarddeitsch
"My answer was totally stupid and out of place...I feel sick about it." -Sergio Garcia, now, apologizing to Tiger and others.2013-5-22 13:24:04
The 33-year-old Spaniard also extended an apology to anyone else who may have been offended by his response according to Sky Sports:
Sky Sports 📺 @SkySports
Sergio Garcia: "I want to apologise to Tiger & anybody I might have offended by it. I feel sick & I’m truly sorry http://t.co/ivemYH5opd2013-5-22 13:35:04
Garcia did say that his comments were not racially motivated, admitting that he felt pressured to respond with something funny considering the atmosphere at the gala.
Golf Channel's Jason Sobel summed up Garcia's press conference, accurately suggesting the major theme was one of regret:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
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.2013-5-22 13:30:03
Sergio Garcia's public apology is a necessary first step in the wake of his insensitive comments regarding Tiger Woods, but it remains to be seen if he'll be forgiven.
The 2007 British Open runner-up, Garcia's golf resume pales in comparison to Woods, and he certainly hasn't won over any new fans as of late. If his criticism of Woods at The Players tournament a couple of weeks ago didn't damage Garcia's appeal, his recent comment certainly has.
Only time will tell whether Tiger Woods and the public forgive Garcia for his regrettable comment.
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