Woods, Garcia don’t connect beyond handshake
ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Unable to arrange a private meeting, Sergio Garcia left Tiger Woods a note in his locker Tuesday at the U.S. Open with hopes of moving on from his racially charged comment and getting back to playing golf.
“I did leave him a note — a handwritten note,” Garcia said. “And hopefully, he can take a look at it. It’s a big week and I understand that it’s difficult to meet up and stuff. So hopefully, I’ll be able to do it. If not, at least he has read the note and he’s happy with that.”
The note presumably was an apology — Garcia said it would be up to Woods to share the contents.
It was the latest — and perhaps final — chapter in a messy feud that ended badly for the Spaniard when he jokingly said at awards dinner in England that he would invite Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open. “We will serve fried chicken,” Garcia said.
He apologized to Woods and everyone he offended in a news conference the next day and said he left a message for Woods through his agent.
Garcia approached him on the practice range Monday at Merion for a handshake, and little more.
“We didn’t discuss anything,” Woods said. “Just came up and said, ‘Hi,’ and that was it.”
Asked if Garcia apologized, Woods said, “No. It’s already done. We’ve already gone through it all. It’s time for the U.S. Open, and we tee it up in two days.”
That handshake might be their only meeting this week.
Garcia said the range on Monday was not the right time to apologize to Woods, but that the world’s No. 1 player was gone when Garcia was done practicing, and the opening day of U.S. Open practice was delayed three times by rain.
They are on opposite sides of the draw — Garcia plays Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, Woods tees off Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Unless they are near each other on the leaderboard on the weekend, they might not see each other again.
And there is some question whether Woods will even see the note.
Woods rarely goes into the locker room at the majors, except for the Masters. Through the years, his locker has been filled with requests for him to autograph various items, and outside vendors try to leave messages for him.
The dispute with Woods began during a rain delay at The Players Championship. Garcia implied in a TV interview that Woods purposely riled up the gallery by pulling a 5-wood from his bag to play a risky shot out of the trees, and that Woods should have been paying enough attention to realize the Spaniard was about to hit.
Woods, who typically prefers to avoid confrontations, denied that was the case. But then he added, “Not real surprising that he’s complaining about something.”
Woods won The Players, and the needling continued for a week until Garcia made the “fried chicken” remark in a light moment with the emcee at a dinner honoring Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team.
The Spaniard appeared contrite in his news conference, and he said Tuesday he remained “a little bit nervous.”
“But like he (Woods) said, with him taking the step forward and saying that he considers it closed, a closed deal, that obviously means a lot to me,” Garcia said.