ARDMORE, Pa. A contrite Sergio Garcia said Tuesday he hasnt yet apologized directly to Tiger Woods about racially insensitive remarks he made recently.
Garcia and Woods shook hands and briefly spoke on the practice tee a day earlier while preparing for this weeks U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. Garcia said he left a hand-written note in Woods locker, but he still hasnt had the chance to apologize in person.
Its difficult to meet up, Garcia said. If not, at least he has read the note and hes happy with that.
Garcia caused a stir recently when he said he would invite Woods to dinner and serve fried chicken. He immediately apologized in public and said he didnt intend for the remark to be interpreted as racially insensitive.
I see that I hurt a lot of people, he said. That doesnt make me feel good. I wish I could go back in time and take back what I said. But, unfortunately, I said it. The only thing I can do is show my respect moving forward. Only time will tell, I guess.
Woods, while confirming that Garcia hadnt apologized to him personally, said hes ready to move on.
Its already done, he said. Weve already gone through it all. Its time for the U.S. Open and we tee it up in two days.
Phils commute: Phil Mickelson left Merion on Monday to attend his daughters eighth-grade graduation Wednesday in San Diego. He had planned to practice at soggy Merion on Tuesday, but elected to do so at home. He will return late Wednesday to Merion, where he has a 7:11 a.m. first-round tee time Thursday.
I had always planned on being there for (the graduation), Mickelson said in a statement. But since it was raining so much Monday and we didnt know if wed be able to play a sloppy course, I came home (Monday) night to practice in great weather on my range and greens. Ill be ready to go Thursday.
Northeast crowds: Woods said hes looking forward to playing in the suburbs of Philadelphia, although hes never played a competitive round at Merion. In fact, a practice round a few weeks ago was the first time hed ever played the course.
This is one of the great sporting towns in the country, he said of Philadelphia. Theyre passionate about sports.
Star group: The threesome of Woods, Rory McIlroy and Masters champion Adam Scott will headline Thursdays and Fridays rounds.
Its always nice to be a part of something like that, said McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion. Youre in a group where theres a lot of buzz and theres a lot of atmosphere around it and it gets you focused from the first shot.
Past champs: The most recent U.S. Open at Merion champions David Graham (1981) and Lee Trevino (1971) met with the media.
I think its great that these old courses can still host a major championship, Graham said. This is a classic golf course. I hope the powers that be will continue to find these traditional great courses like (Merion), Oakmont and Oakland Hills, because its great that you have Tiger Woods walking the same fairways that (Ben) Hogan walked.
Trevino was asked what he thinks about when he thinks about Merion.
I think about the guy I beat, he said, laughing. That guy was Jack Nicklaus, in a playoff.
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