"I couldn't name ya like six players on the LPGA Tour," Hank Haney said. "Nah, maybe I could. I'd go with Li."
Tiger Woods's former swing coach made a disparaging remark about women's golf on his Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio show Wednesday.
"I couldn't name ya like six players on the LPGA Tour," Hank Haney said. "Nah, maybe I could. I'd go with Li, if I didn't have to name a first name, I'd get a bunch of them right."
Haney was ostensibly commenting on the high number of world-class Asian players on the LPGA circuit.
"Lexi Thompson...honestly, Michelle Wie's hurt," he continued. "I don't know many."
The 74th U.S. Women's Open begins Thursday at the Country Club of Charleston, and Haney suggested he had no idea the tournament was this week. His comments come one day after the USGA announced that the purse for the women's open would be raised to $5.5 million. That makes it the richest tournament in women's golf, but the purse is still just 44% of the men's U.S. Open purse, which was just announced as $12.5 million.
Haney, 63, coached Woods from 2004 until 2009, when the two split just before Woods' extramarital affairs became public. Woods won six major championships under Haney's tutelage.
A number of LPGA players have responded to Haney's remarks, including Wie.
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
Haney later apologized for his comments via Twitter. His statement read:
"This morning I made some comments about women's professional golf and its players that I regret. 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 highest 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 do so."
Haney wrote The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods in 2013, a book detailing his time coaching the 15-time major champion. Woods has largely declined to speak about Haney since that book was released, and he does not currently have a swing coach.