Hank Haney, the former swing coach for Tiger Woods, was suspended from his eponymous SiriusXM PGA Tour radio show on Thursday, one day after he dismissed women’s professional golf and mocked the ethnicity of many L.P.G.A. stars.
On Wednesday, the day before the start of the United States Women’s Open in Charleston, S.C., Haney predicted during his show that “a Korean” would win and said that he couldn’t name six players on the tour but that he would get “a bunch of them right” if he guessed “Lee” and didn’t have to produce any first names.
The comments quickly drew criticism from several current and former players, including the Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie, one of the most prominent members of the L.P.G.A. tour. Wie wrote on Twitter: “As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that Hank Haney made disappoint and anger me on so many levels. Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank … shame on you.”
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, best known for coaching Woods while he won 31 PGA Tour titles, including six majors, from 2004 and 2010, issued an apology later in the day through a text message to Golf Digest. He said he regretted his comments, describing them as “insensitive.”
“In an effort to make a point about the overwhelming success of Korean players on the tour I offended people and I am sorry,” the message said. “I have the biggest 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.”
The PGA Tour and SiriusXM jointly released a statement Thursday night announcing Haney’s suspension and saying that his comments did not represent their views. SiriusXM, the statement added, is reviewing Haney’s future status.
“I accept my suspension and apologize again,” Haney was quoted as saying in the release.
The first 12 L.P.G.A. events of the season have produced winners from six countries; six of the tournaments were won by South Koreans. Mike Whan, the L.P.G.A. commissioner, has said he considers the global reach of the women’s game to be its greatest strength.
“I’m not going to waste my time on people who are never going to get it,” Whan said of Haney’s remarks.
The woman crowned the U.S. Open champion on Sunday will earn $1 million, the biggest tournament payout in women’s golf. After Thursday’s first round, Mamiko Higa of Japan topped a leader board on which the players occupying the first six spots each represented a different country.