The day after Sergio Garcia sought out Tiger Woods on the Merion driving range to speak about the racially-stereotyped “fried chicken’’ comment he made last month, the Spaniard left a hand-written note of apology in Woods’ locker.
“Yeah, I did leave him a note, a handwritten note,’’ said Garcia about the Dear Tiger letter on Tuesday. “Hopefully he can take a look at it and … read the note and he's happy with that.
“Obviously we saw each other (Monday) on the range (and) I was hoping to meet him after the round, but he was gone after the round,’’ Garcia went on. “The weather obviously didn't help (closing the course in the afternoon). This morning I was here early (and) I didn't see him around.
“The first time I saw him was on the range. I felt like it wasn't the appropriate place to, for me to (apologize) there out of respect to him and to the other players to do it there, so I was hoping to see him afterwards. Unfortunately, when I got done practicing he was gone already. He considers the matter closed. He's moved on and I'm happy that he feels that way, so hopefully we can do the same thing.’’
When Woods met with reporters, about three hours before Garcia did, he did not indicate that he had gotten any sort of apology from Garcia.
Asked Tuesday if Garcia’s comments were discussed on Monday during the handshake seen around the golf world, Woods said, “No, we didn't discuss anything. He just came up and said, ‘Hi,’ and that was it.
Asked if Garcia apologized, Woods said, “No,’’ adding, “It's already done. We've already gone through it all. It's time for the U.S. Open and we tee it up in two days.’’
Asked again if he’s gotten any personal apology from Garcia, Woods said, “No, we haven't had time for that.’’
Garcia handled himself with poise and humility on Tuesday, clearly still bothered by the incident, he was contrite.
“I'm obviously a little bit nervous, there's no doubt about that,’’ Garcia said. “But like (Woods) said … he considers it closed deal. That obviously means a lot to me.’’
Garcia, too, sounded relieved that the fans at Merion are putting the episode behind them, saying there has been no heckling.
“The people around these last couple of days have been amazing,’’ he said. “They have been very, very supportive. So that gives me a lot of good feelings.’’
Garcia also conceded that he’s been “very worried about the whole situation.’’ His major sponsor, TaylorMade/adidas, indicated in the aftermath of his comments that the company might reevaluate its relationship with the golfer.