ANAHEIM, California, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Tiger Woods has described the Kelly Tilghman “lynch” comment made at his own expense as unintentional and believes the matter should be closed.
“It was unfortunate,” world number one Woods told reporters shortly before unveiling a statue of his late father Earl at the Tiger Woods Learning Center on Monday.
“Kelly and I did speak and there was no ill-intent. She regrets saying it and, in my eyes, it’s all said and done.”
Tilghman, who works for American cable television network The Golf Channel, joked in a telecast during the PGA Tour’s season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship that players bidding to challenge Woods might have to “lynch him in a back alley”.
She apologised to Woods before issuing a public apology four days later and was subsequently suspended by The Golf Channel for two weeks.
Tilghman is scheduled to return to her anchor role at this week’s Buick Invitational outside San Diego where defending champion Woods will make his debut on the 2008 PGA Tour.
The “lynch” affair took another twist last week when Golfweek magazine fired its editor Dave Seanor for the controversial decision to depict a noose on its Jan. 19 cover.
Golfweek apologised in a statement for the cover which carried the headline: “Caught in a Noose” with the subtitle: “Tilghman slips up and Golf Channel can’t wriggle free.”
Woods, who will be bidding this week to win a fourth consecutive title at the Buick Invitational, described the ongoing affair as “media-driven”.
He added: “People have called me and e-mailed me and written me saying that they were curious and I just tell them that she is a friend of mine, which Kelly is.
“I’ve known her basically for about 10 or 11 years now. We all say things that we do regret and that was certainly a moment that she regrets.” (Editing by Martin Petty)