Renowned golf instructor Hank Haney apologized for insensitive comments he made about LPGA players during his SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday morning.
When Haney's co-host, Steve Johnson, asked him about the 74th U.S. Women's Open being played at the Country Club of Charleston this week, Haney joked that he was going to predict that a Korean would win and added that he couldn't name six players on the LPGA Tour, except for those with the last name Lee.
"I'm gonna predict a Korean," Haney said.
"That's a pretty safe bet," Johnson replied
"That's gonna be my prediction. I couldn't name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour," Haney continued.
"Yeah," Johnson said.
"Nah, maybe I could," Haney said. "Well, I'd go with Lee. If I didn't have to name a first name, I'd get a bunch of them right. I don't know. ... Lexi Thompson. ... Michelle Wie's hurt. I don't know that many."
Haney's comments were quickly criticized on social media, including in a pair of tweets from Wie, who isn't playing this week because of a wrist injury.
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
Wie wrote in another tweet: "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"
Shortly after Wie criticized Haney on social media, he issued an apology on Twitter.
"This morning, I made some comments about women's golf and its players that were insensitive, and that I regret," Haney wrote. "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."
LPGA commissioner Michael Whan later said the tour "won't get sidetracked by individuals that simply don't get it."
In a time when the @LPGA is experiencing tremendous growth in tournaments, sponsors, @LPGAGirlsGolf, and TV coverage, we won't get side-tracked by individuals that simply don't get it. There will always be clueless critics - we'll simply #DriveOn! https://t.co/pS2OX0ZmAJ— Michael Whan (@LPGACommish) May 30, 2019
Haney, 63, is mostly known for working with Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara. He also hosted "The Haney Project" on Golf Channel, and he has worked with celebrities such as Charles Barkley, Ray Romano and Adam Levine.