Garcia's 'fried chicken' remark shows disdain for Woods

By Joe PosnanskiMay 22, 2013, 12:53 pm

You know, it really doesn’t seem possible that someone else made a fried chicken joke about Tiger Woods. When Fuzzy Zoeller made his fried chicken joke about Tiger Woods in 1997 and got in all sorts of trouble for it – loss of sponsors, loss of popularity, a permanent “controversies” section on Wikipedia – well, there wasn’t much good to come from it but you probably would have bet the house that at least nobody would ever make another friend chicken joke about Woods.

And then: Sergio. Oh, Sergio.

Here, for your teeth-gnashing discomfort, was Fuzzy’s quote about Woods during Tiger’s historical run at the 1997 Masters: “That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it? … Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”

Yeah, after that, you might have thought people wouldn’t even put Tiger Woods in a sentence with either “Fried” or “chicken.”

And then: Sergio. Oh, Sergio.

When Golf Channel’s Steve Sands asked Sergio Garcia at the European Tour Players’ Awards Dinner if he would invite Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open – you know, a little joke, Sergio and Tiger have been feuding and all that – Garcia reportedly said: “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”

Sergio. Oh, Sergio.

“I didn’t mean anything by it,” either Fuzzy or Sergio wrote in his apology statement.

“I answered a question that was clearly made toward me as a joke with a silly remark,” Sergio or Fuzzy said.

“Anybody who knows me knows I’m a jokester,” said one of the statements.

“In no way was the comment meant in a racist manner,” said the other statement.

“It had nothing to do with black, white, purple, yellow, green race,” said one.

“I apologize for any offence,” said the other – wait, that had to be Sergio’s because of the way he spelled “offence.”

“I’m sorry if I offended anybody,” said, well, wait, I think that’s from Fuzzy’s statement.

Whatever. Garcia made an off-color remark in his second language when he was trying to be funny in front of a lot of people. Misunderstandings happen all the time. There’s no reason to doubt him when he says that he did not mean it in a racist way.  After all, Garcia has basically called Woods a liar, a phony and a jerk, and he isn’t apologizing for any of those things.

What’s striking is just how deep Woods is in Garcia’s head. For more than a week now – ever since the moment Woods pulled a club just as Sergio was in his backswing at The Players Championship – Garcia has been looking for words that will cut Woods. He pulled out that “he’s not the nicest guy on tour” line at one point. Didn’t really leave a mark. He tried several workarounds on the word “liar.” Didn’t lay a glove on him. Then, he offered probably my favorite Sergio soliloquy, which has been quoted many different ways in the European papers:

“He called me a whiner. He’s probably right. But that’s also probably the first thing he’s told you guys (in the media) that’s true in 15 years. I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out.”

That was a pretty good attempt – especially the part where he conceded being a whiner – but I’m sure it too had no impact on Woods, and it’s obvious why: Woods has won 14 major championships. Garcia has won none. Woods is the greatest golfer of his time and perhaps all time. Garcia’s career is widely viewed as an underachievement. Woods put his shot on the green at 17 with the tournament on the line. Garcia hit two in the water.

What could Garcia possibly say that would touch Woods?

It’s cruel … but it’s true. Woods has left behind a lost generation of good golfers. How good, historically, is Phil Mickelson? Ernie Els? Vijay Singh? Garcia? Could they have been the dominant player in the world in a different time? Sham was a great 3-year-old racehorse … but who remembers the horse that finished second to Secretariat? Ezzard Charles was a great boxer – but who remembers the boxer who couldn’t beat Rocky Marciano?

Garcia, in that moment on stage when he was obviously expected to say something funny about Tiger, undoubtedly reached for something edgy. He went over that edge, into a muddy puddle that Zoeller stepped into 16 years ago. Man, nobody ever thought that someone would step in that puddle again.

Sergio quickly apologized. Does that end things? Doubtful. Now people will ask Woods if he accepts the apology. He issued a Twitter response Wednesday. But he'll be asked again, and I suspect Woods’ answer will be similar to the one-word answer he gave when asked if he called to make up with Garcia: “No.”

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.