The ongoing feud between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods turned overtly negative on Tuesday and forced an apology from Garcia in order to quell the rising tide of criticism.
It is no secret that the two do not hold each other in high regard. During the European Tour's Players' Awards dinner in London on Tuesday evening, Garcia made a quip about a long-used racial stereotype.
Garcia made the offensive remark when responding to a question posed by Steve Sands of The Golf Channel, after he asked him if he would invite Woods dinner during the upcoming U.S. Open.
"We will have him round every night," Garcia responded. "We will serve fried chicken."
Given the large media presence at the event, the remark was picked up and quickly made the rounds in media circles. Soon after the incident, Garcia issued an apology that was given to the European Tour and was later obtained by The Associated Press.
"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," he said.
The ongoing back-and-forth between the two players reached a new point during The Players Championship after Garcia accused Woods of distracting him while they played together during the third round. Woods went on to win the tournament while Garcia suffered one of the more notable meltdowns during a tournament in recent memory.
Following the embarrassing loss, Garcia took issue with Woods' comments regarding his actions during the third round.
"He called me a whiner. He's probably right," Garcia said on Monday at an event in Wentworth, England, according to Sports Illustrated. "But that's also probably the first thing he's told you guys that's true in 15 years. I know what he's like. You guys are finding out."