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Garcia-Woods feud goes on after 'fried chicken' remark

Spaniard is on the defensive over accusations of racism after saying what food he would serve his rival if he were to come round for dinner

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 3:53am

A contrite Sergio Garcia said yesterday he wanted a meeting with Tiger Woods to apologise directly for the racism row that was sparked by his "fried chicken" comment at an official dinner.

Garcia has had a long-running feud with Woods and it exploded on Tuesday night when he was questioned on stage at the annual European Tour dinner.

Garcia was asked if he would invite Woods for dinner and responded by saying he would have him round every night and serve fried chicken, stereotypically associated with black Americans.

Woods took to Twitter, calling Garcia's comment "hurtful" before attempting to diffuse the row after the Spaniard had issued a statement though the European Tour saying he did not mean to cause the world No 1 any offence.

And Garcia has been in touch with Woods' agent to apologise and attempt to set up a meeting to sort out the problem once and for all.

"I don't have his phone number but I have called his manager," Garcia said at Wentworth ahead of the PGA Championship. "He didn't pick up so I left him a message and told them I was very sorry and that I would love to talk to them as soon as possible and make sure everything is okay. I said how sorry I am - it was a bad comment. I am sure that I will be able to talk to him and apologise to him face-to-face. Then move forward and forget about the whole thing."

Woods tweeted: "The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate."

"I'm confident there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it is time to move on and talk about golf."

Woods' mention of The Players is a reference to the row that he and Garcia had during The Players' Championship at Sawgrass a fortnight ago.

The week was marred by Garcia's spat with Woods - the eventual winner - on the third day when Woods disturbed the Spaniard as he was hitting a shot.

The incident spiralled into a war of words with Garcia telling reporters again on Tuesday that he did not like playing with Woods and the two would never be friends.

"You can't like everybody," Garcia said. "There are people you connect with and people that you don't - it is as simple as that. He doesn't need me in his life and I don't need him in mine so let's move on and keep doing what we are doing."

The row has rekindled memories of Fuzzy Zoeller's comments when Woods first one the US Masters in 1997 and as holder could choose the menu for annual champions' dinner.

Zoeller then said: "You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve." He later claimed the comments had been misconstrued..

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