Sergio Garcia approached Tiger Woods at the driving range at Merion Golf Club on Monday and after a brief exchange shook hands with the world No. 1 in an apparent attempt to make up after their recent unpleasantness.
The meeting during practice for the U.S. Open was the first between the long-time adversaries since Garcia made a “fried chicken” reference directed at Woods last month at a European Tour awards dinner.
Garcia has since apologised and Woods told reporters it was time to move on.
Tensions between the two flared last month at the Players championship, when Garcia suggested Woods showed poor sportsmanship by pulling a club from his bag as the Spaniard was about to hit a shot. Woods’s move sparked cheers from the galleries and Garcia sliced his shot into the woods.
The two later exchanged verbal jabs through the media over the incident, revealing animosity simmering between them over the years.
Bad feelings escalated with Garcia’s ill-advised attempt at humour when he was jokingly asked if he would be having dinner with Woods during the U.S. Open week. He replied: “We’ll have him ‘round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”
Woods responded to the reference, viewed as a racial stereotype, on Twitter by saying Garcia’s words were “wrong, hurtful and inappropriate.” He added, “It’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.”
Jack Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 majors, called the incident “stupid” and said it was time to move on.
Woods, who has won four times this year and this week seeks his first major title since the 2008 US Open, said dealing with racial stereotypes is nothing new for him.
“Well, I live with it,” he said. “It’s happened my entire career. It exists all around the world, not just in the sport of golf. I know a lot of people are trying to make a difference and trying to make it more fair for all of us.”