NEW YORK -- NBC Sports golf analyst Johnny Miller apologized for his description of U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate , saying the comments had "absolutely nothing to do with his ethnicity."
Mediate, a 45-year-old Pennsylvanian of Italian heritage, held a one-stroke lead over Tiger Woods during the fourth round Sunday. Miller said Mediate "looks like the guy who cleans Tiger's swimming pool." He also said, "Guys with the name 'Rocco' don't get on the trophy, do they?"
"I apologize to anyone who was offended by my remarks," Miller said in a statement Friday through NBC. "My intention was to convey my affection and admiration for Rocco's everyman qualities and had absolutely nothing to do with his ethnicity. I chose my words poorly and in the future will be more careful."
Woods beat Mediate in a playoff that lasted 19 holes for his third U.S. Open title.
Sunday's fourth round on NBC drew a 7.5 national rating and 17 share. It was the highest rating for a U.S. Open since 2002 and a 17 percent increase over the 6.4 last year.
The first two hours of Monday's playoff drew the highest cable rating ever for golf with a 4.2 on ESPN. The rating is the percentage watching a program among homes with televisions, and the share is the percentage tuned into the broadcast among those households with TVs on at the time.