Colin Montgomerie called the Sergio Garcia “fried chicken” controversy a “mountain out of a molehill.”
The Scottish player spoke Friday about the controversy surrounding Garcia and George O’Grady, the European Tour CEO who used the term “colored” during a live television interview in which he was reacting to the spat between Garcia and Tiger Woods.
“It’s a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest. Totally,” Montgomerie said at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. “I hope it hasn’t taken away from the BMW, who have set up a fantastic tournament. Now we’ve got the chief executive involved in the whole thing having to say ‘sorry.’ We’re all frightened to say anything; we’re frightened to open our mouths in case we say something that isn’t kosher in 2013. Somebody should tell us what to say because no one is quite sure what is right and wrong.”
Garcia and O’Grady have apologized for the comments.
O’Grady said Thursday that “most of Sergio’s friends are colored athletes in the United States.” The word “colored” was once widely used in the United States to refer to African-Americans but it is now considered antiquated and offensive.
“George says colored, somebody says black, but who is to say who is right and wrong, and for the chief executive who is a very educated man to get caught up then we need to decide what we can and can’t say and move on quickly,” Montgomerie said.
DQ ANGERS OVERTON: Jeff Overton expressed his frustration on Twitter about his disqualification midway through the third round of the Colonial for illegally using a putting aid after starting play.
With a backup on the 10th tee, Overton went to a nearby putting green while waiting to tee off.
Soon after coming off the course, Overton tweeted “3 group back up at the turn. Rules official tells me we can practice chipping and putting. Disqualified for using my practice putting aid!”
Going to a designated practice area is permissible during a round, but use of artificial or instructional devices isn’t. The penalty is disqualification.
PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell said another player asked a scoring official about Overton’s use of an alignment stick on the putting green.
Overton was 4-under par and seven strokes behind the leader at the time of the disqualification.
Russell said he wasn’t sure if it was another golfer in Overton’s group.
“We don’t like to disqualify players. But that’s what the rule says. We don’t have a choice,” said Russell, holding a rulebook in his hand. “Yes, we hesitated a little bit.”
had already made a par on No. 10 and had just teed off at No. 11 when rules official John Mutch approached him. Mutch asked the golfer about the report that he had used the aid, and Overton confirmed that he had.
In the last of a series of four tweets after his disqualification, Overton said, “Tough break today. Looks like I gotta go back and rememorize a couple hundred pages of the usga rules book!”
When he does, it was rule 14-3/10.3 cited by PGA Tour officials.