After creating a media firestorm with his on-air comments about Tiger Woods, Pat Perez clarified that he remains a fan of the 14-time major champ.
Perez co-hosts a show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, and Tuesday he used the platform to assert that Woods knows "he can't beat anybody" after a recent run of withdrawals that began with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
"The guy shot 77 (in Dubai). That guy can't shoot 77," Perez said. "What does he do the next day? Ah, my back's gone. He knows he can't beat anybody! I told you! He's not going to come out and play, and play poorly."
Perez spoke to ESPN.com late Thursday and explained that his original comments were equal parts praise for the man and assessment of the current situation.
"I had an opinion on Tiger, and I said it. No one wants to see Tiger come back, compete and win again more than me," he said. "I was the one saying that none of these guys out here today can hold a candle to what Tiger has done or still does. But we're talking about is Tiger gonna play again? I don't know. If the guy can't do a press conference, how's he gonna play golf?"
Perez no longer has a Twitter account, but he wrote a post on Instagram questioning one media outlet for "taking a clip out of my show, using it incorrectly and letting people wear me out." In his clarification to ESPN, Perez compared himself to Fuzzy Zoeller, who received criticism and lost endorsement deals over racially insensitive remarks he made about Woods at the 1997 Masters.
"I'm getting killed by all these people, but I'm a Tiger fan who wants to see him back playing again," he said. "Now I know kind of how Fuzzy Zoeller felt, but I was praising (Woods) and I'm still getting killed by all these people for an opinion I had on our radio show."