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Garcia: I'll meet tiger to tell him 'sorry'


Spain's Sergio Garcia. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Spain's Sergio Garcia. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Spain's Sergio Garcia. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

SERGIO GARCIA has reiterated his desire to apologise in person to Tiger Woods after European Tour chief executive George O'Grady unwittingly reopened the racism row which has overshadowed the BMW PGA Championship.

O'Grady issued an apology yesterday for using the word "coloured" when defending the decision not to sanction Garcia for his own remark about serving Woods "fried chicken" during the Tour's annual awards dinner.

The Tour had been criticised for accepting Garcia's subsequent apology and considering the matter closed, but O'Grady was forced to apologise himself after a live TV interview during the opening round at Wentworth.

"I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for which I unreservedly apologise," a statement from O'Grady read.

O'Grady had said: "Most of Sergio's friends happen to be coloured athletes in the United States, he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it."

Garcia, who was made aware of O'Grady's comments after completing an opening round of 72 with an eagle at the 18th, said: "We talked to Mark Steinberg (Woods' agent) and he said they are moving forward. If I manage to speak to him, perfect; if not I will definitely see him at the US Open and we can talk face-to-face."

So far the only response from Woods came on Twitter on Wednesday. "The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate," Woods wrote.

It remains to be seen if the row will cost the Ryder Cup star financially, with Garcia's major sponsors TaylorMade-adidas describing his comment as "offensive" and adding that the matter was still under review.

Meanwhile, Luke Donald went into today's second round insisting a third win in succession at Wentworth was not impossible, but it quickly looked that way.

Donald struggled to an opening 78 on a weather-hit opening day to lie 12 shots off the clubhouse lead held by 47-year-old South African James Kingston.

Ian Poulter double-bogeyed the third to drop to six over, while Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell both shot 74 in the first round, with McIlroy five over for the last six holes in a back nine of 41.

Donald repaired some of the damage with birdies at the fourth and eighth to get back to seven over par, but that was still well outside the projected cut mark of one over.

At the other end of the field, South African George Coetzee had joined his compatriot Kingston at the top of the leaderboard on six under.

Coetzee, who carded a 69 yesterday, had birdied the second and fourth to be out in 33 and also picked up a shot on the 11th, while England's Simon Khan, winner here in 2010, was one behind after an eagle on the par-five fourth.