Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia shake hands on the 18th green after the third round of last year's BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill.
Sergio Garcia has been rounding into form, but he just can't shake the comment that bent his image badly out of shape.
Nearly eight months and many mea culpas later, the Spaniard still finds himself discussing his ill-considered remark regarding Tiger Woods and fried chicken. The latest instance came during a press conference this week in advance of the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, where Garcia revisited the fallout from what was widely taken as a racist jibe.
“I can’t apologize any more," Garcia said. "I have apologized and re-apologized, so I think it is all over."
Reflecting on the backlash, Garcia described the strains of his appearance at the U.S. Open at Merion in June, where he was roundly heckled by a small but vocal group of fans.
“I don’t know if I was prepared for it,” Garcia said. "I mean, it wasn't certain to know what was going to happen, more than anything at the US Open. It was my first week back there [in the United States]. And it was rough, it was difficult. Only by a minority, but they made themselves heard.
"But the good thing is the majority of the people knew me and what happened so they accepted my apologies and they could see that it was truthful. So that's what helped me to keep going.
"You know, it wasn't easy because I guess that minority are always the loudest and they made themselves heard. It's never nice to be reminded of something that you don't like and you don't enjoy.
"I guess the only thing you can do is keep going, do what you love to do and try to show everybody what you are. Hopefully that's good enough for them to like it."
The 34-year-old said that he has searched for---and found---a silver lining.
“It was probably a tough three months at least,” he said. “but it was a good learning experience. I thought that we learned a lot from it and I think that it made us even stronger.
“It has been nice to play a little bit, maybe not think so much about it and then just get your game in shape, your head in the right way.”
Garcia’s play has been a happier subject thanks to a strong 2013 showing that returned him to the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings.
VIDEO: Sergio Garcia's Most Memorable Meltdowns
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