“It’s already done,” Woods said Tuesday. “We’ve already gone through it all. It’s time for the U.S. Open and we tee it up in two days.”
“He considers the matter closed,” Garcia said. “He’s moved on. And I’m happy that he feels that way, so hopefully we can do the same thing.”
Garcia approached Woods on the range Monday and they briefly chatted. The Spaniard didn’t apologize then to Woods, he said, because he didn’t feel it was the “appropriate place, out of respect to him and to the other players to do it there.”
Garcia was hoping to meet up with Woods after his Monday practice round, but was unable to because of weather. When he arrived at the course Tuesday, he said he didn’t see Woods.
So instead, Garcia said he left a handwritten note in Woods’ locker at Merion.
“Hopefully he can take a look at it and, you know, it’s a big week and I understand that it’s difficult to meet up and stuff,” Garcia said. “So hopefully I’ll be able to do it. If not, at least he has read the note and he’s happy with that.”
Garcia declined to reveal what was written in the note, saying, “I don’t think that’s for me to say. I think that if he wants to show you – I mean the note is for him, so if he wants to show you, then he can. I don’t have any problems with that. But I am not going to be the one showing you.”
This saga spans to last month’s Players Championship, when they were paired in the third round and Garcia accused Woods of distracting him while he was attempting to play a shot. They traded a few barbs in the press, and Woods went on to win the tournament.
A week later, Garcia responded to a playful question about whether he and Woods would get together during the U.S. Open. “We’ll have him ’round every night,” Garcia said. “We will serve fried chicken.”
Garcia apologized immediately for the insensitive remark and said that he would address the comment with Woods at the Open.
“I wish I could go back in time and take back what I said, but unfortunately I said it,” Garcia said. “The only thing I can do is show you my respect from here moving forward.”
Some have suggested that fans might heckle Garcia because this is his first start in the States since the inflammatory comment, but he doesn’t anticipate any issues this week.
“I feel like I had a great relationship with the crowds for pretty much my whole career,” he said. “Obviously a couple incidents here and there” – most notably the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black – “but other than that, I feel very fortunate.”
After The Players, where he squandered a chance to win by dropping six shots in the last two holes, Garcia tied for 19th at the BMW PGA Championship in England. He has four top-10s in 13 previous starts at the Open.
When asked whether this distraction could potentially keep him from contending this week, Garcia said: “It obviously doesn’t help, but it is my own fault. So I don’t have anyone to blame other than myself.”