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Garcia calls O'Grady's remarks 'unfortunate'

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Playing his first round since igniting a firestorm of controversy with comments this week directed at Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia opened the BMW PGA Championship with a roller-coaster round of even-par 72. After closing with an eagle on the par-5 18th, the Spaniard offered some concise reflections on the past few days.

'It's been a tough week,' said Garcia, who sits six shots off the pace after carding four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey Thursday in addition to his eagle on the home hole.

After the round, he indicated that a positive reception from the galleries helped to steady his nerves in the opening round, where he was making his first appearance at Wentworth in 13 years.

'I felt the warmth of the people,' Garcia told reporters. 'That helped. I feel like I have great support from people all over the world, not just in Europe. I’m very lucky with that and very grateful.”

Upon conclusion of play, Garcia was reportedly informed of controversial remarks made by European Tour chief George O'Grady earlier during the day's telecast.

'I've been told about it,' he said of O'Grady's comments. 'It's unfortunate.'

The Spaniard also added that he has yet to speak personally with Woods, but that efforts to arrange an in-person meeting remain ongoing.

'We talked to [agent] Mark Steinberg, and he said that they are moving forward,' Garcia noted. 'If I manage to talk to him, perfect; if not, I’ll definitely see him at the U.S. Open and we can talk face-to-face.”