Even after all that time, the Spaniard is still presented questions about what was widely considered an ill-considered remark, if not a borderline racist slur.
As Josh Sens of Golf.com points out today, Garcia was once again asked about his infamous remarks during a press conference at this week's HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi.
"I can't apologize anymore," Garcia told reporters. "I have apologized and re-apologized, so I think it is all over."
Later in the press conference, Garcia described the harsh atmosphere that "welcomed" him at the 2013 US Open at Merion.
"I don't know if I was prepared for it," Garcia admitted. "I mean, it wasn't certain to know what was going to happen, more than anything at the US Open. It was my first week back [in the United States]. And it was rough, it was difficult.
"But the good thing is the majority of the people knew me and what happened so they accepted my apologies and they could see it was truthful. So that's what helped me to keep going."
In an age when high-profile athletes are constantly under a public microscope, situations like the one between Tiger and Sergio get blown up to astronomical levels. Rightfully so, I should add. What Garcia said -- even if meant in jest -- will never be acceptable nor should it be excused.
Since the initial fallout, golf fans saw another element of Sergio Garcia in the following months: a man who has matured both professionally and on a personal level.
On the course, Garcia has maintained as low a profile as a golfer of his caliber can expect. Once known to throw a temper tantrum or two, Garcia has seemed more poised during tournament play. His last three months on the pro circuit have included perhaps the best golf of his career, resulting in a top 10 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings. In many ways, Garcia is primed for an incredible 2014 season.
In terms of his personal life, Garcia admits that the entire experience has been a massive learning experience.
"It was probably a tough three months at least," Garcia said. "But it was a good learning experience. I thought we learned a lot from it and I think it made us even stronger."
Forgiveness in the public eye is often difficult to obtain. The words that Garcia said about one of golf's most polarizing athletes will always ring in the ears of those who reflect on either man's career. We cannot pretend that it never happened. Doing so might be worse than anything Garcia said in the first place.Still, golf fans have a responsibility to move on from the episode just as Tiger and Sergio have managed to do. Time heals all wounds, large or small, and forgiveness is a choice that we all must make regardless the situation.
Adam Fonseca has covered professional golf since 2005. His work can be found on multiple news outlets, including the Back9Network and SB Nation. Follow Adam on Twitter at @chicagoduffer.
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