Tiger Woods' former golf coach Hank Haney has been BLASTED by a number of LPGA Tour players such as Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam for his racist comments ahead of this week's US Women's Open.
Haney, who coached Woods between 2004 and 2010, was speaking on the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio alongside co-host Steve Johnson and he was quizzed as to who he thought would win this week's US Women's Open.
His comments thereafter were quite frankly shocking.
"I'm going to predict a Korean," said Haney, which was then greeted by laughter from Johnson, who then replied, "okay, pretty safe bet."
"That's going to be my prediction. I couldn't name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour," continued Haney.
"Maybe I could, well, I'd go with Lee if I didn't have to name a first name. I'd get a bunch of them right. Yeah, I don't know."
Johnson then said: "You've got six Lee's," to which Haney responded, "Honestly, Michelle Wie's hurt, I don't know anybody... where are they playing anyway?"
Korean American Wie may be out of this week's tournament due to injury but it did not take her long to respond on social media, and she was understandably fuming by the comments...
As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that @HankHaney made disappoint and anger me on so many different levels. Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank....shame on you. I don’t ever do this, but this must be called out. https://t.co/P18JByTosN— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) May 29, 2019
Too many of these girls, Korean or not, have worked countless hours and sacrificed so much to play in the US Open this week. There are so many amazing players in the field. Let’s celebrate them....Not mock them. @HankHaney https://t.co/YB25Bl9zoC— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) May 29, 2019
It didn't take long for a number of other high-profile lady golfers to get involved, in particular Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb...
Unacceptable! https://t.co/5LvSPe5muh— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) May 29, 2019
Well said @themichellewie Wiesy! Shame on you @HankHaney and Steve Johnson. @PGATOUR if you’re truly serious about supporting the @lpga and growing the game these two morons won’t have a voice anymore! https://t.co/2hvZoBE4Tn— Karrie Webb (@Karrie_Webb) May 29, 2019
Later in the show, following a number of irate comments on social media during the broadcast, Haney apologised and claimed "I am definitely not a racist."
Golf Digest reached out to Haney to get his take on matters, and he apologised for his comments.
"This morning I made some comments about women’s professional golf and its players that were insensitive and that I regret," Haney said in a text.
"In an effort to make a point about the overwhelming success of Korean players on the tour I offended people, and I am sorry. I have the biggest respect for the women who have worked so hard to reach the pinnacle of their sport, and I never meant to take away from their abilities and accomplishments.
"I’ve worked in this game with men and women players from many different cultures, and I look forward to continuing to doing so."