(AP) — Sergio Garcia apologized for saying he would “serve fried chicken'' while making a joke about having Tiger Woods over for dinner.
The British newspaper The Guardian reported Garcia was asked in jest while on stage at the European Tour's awards dinner Tuesday night if he would invite Woods to dinner during the U.S. Open.
The Guardian reported Garcia said: “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.''
The newspaper said Garcia released a statement through the European Tour: “I apologise for any offence 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 has acknowledged not getting along with Woods and their testy relationship flared up again during The Players Championship at Sawgrass two weeks ago.
Garcia said Woods carelessly created a disturbance in the gallery while Garcia was hitting a shot. The two traded barbs about the incident, as Woods won the tournament and Garcia fell apart in the final few holes.
Garcia's comments Tuesday night were reminiscent of ones Fuzzy Zoeller took heat for after Woods' won the Masters for the first time back in 1997.
The Masters winner is allowed to choose the champions' dinner menu for the following year. Zoeller said: “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.'' Zoeller later apologized.