“We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.” – Sergio Garcia, during a European Tour awards dinner in London on Tuesday, after being asked whether he would invite Tiger Woods over for dinner at the U.S. Open next month.
“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.” – Garcia, again, in a statement released after his initial comment.
“The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.” – Tiger Woods, in a statement via his Twitter account released at 8:40 a.m. ET Wednesday.
“As soon as I left the dinner, I started getting a sick feeling in my body. … I didn’t really sleep at all last night. I felt like my heart was going to come out of my body. I had this sick feeling all day.” – Garcia, again, in a news conference at the BMW PGA Championship.
'Sergio Garcia’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture. We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere. We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter.' – An official statement released by TaylorMade Golf, Garcia’s main equipment and clothing provider.
“I like fried chicken so I will be over for dinner. … I mean it's all pretty interesting ... Sergio may have just got caught with his tongue, got a little tongue tied there. He may have taken it a little far. I know he feels bad about it. I feel like it will all be worked out.” – Rickie Fowler, at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in response to Garcia’s comment.
“We know the connotation in the United States. We accept all races on the European Tour; we take it very strongly. Most of Sergio’s friends are colored athletes in the United States, and he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it.” – European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, when discussing the Garcia incident on Thursday morning with Sky Sports.
“I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for Sky Sports for which I unreservedly apologize.” – O’Grady, again, in a statement after his initial comment.
'I've been told about it. … It's unfortunate.' – Garcia, again, after hearing about O’Grady’s quote.
'We talked to (agent) Mark Steinberg, and he said that they are moving forward. … If I manage to talk to (Woods), perfect; if not, I’ll definitely see him at the U.S. Open and we can talk face-to-face.” – Garcia, after his first round of the BMW PGA Championship, on his efforts to make amends with Woods.
'It'll all blow over. … Those boys will be fine.' – Fuzzy Zoeller, who thinks this Garcia-Woods tension will soon dissipate. Sixteen years ago, Zoeller was mired in similar controversy after comments made about Woods at the 1997 Masters.
“It's a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest, totally. … We're all frightened to say anything; we're frightened to open our mouths in case we say something that isn't kosher in 2013. Somebody should tell us what to say because no one is quite sure what is right and wrong.” – Colin Montgomerie, coming to the defense of friend and long-time European Ryder Cup teammate Garcia.
“I think there’s no doubt there’s a personality clash between the two and both have spoken about that. Sergio apologized for his comments; he didn’t mean them in the way they came out. For me, it’s no big drama at all.” – European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, sticking up for Garcia. McGinley went on to say the incident won’t affect his standing on the team and chalked up the incident to a “personality clash.”