VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND (AP) - Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie has described the Sergio Garcia "fried chicken" controversy as "making a mountain out of a molehill."
The World Golf Hall of Fame inductee's response to the controversy that drew European Tour chief executive George O'Grady into having to make a second apology, was to defend O'Grady and "feel" for Garcia.
"It's a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest," he said after making the cut in the European Tour PGA Championship at Wentworth.
"We're all frightened to say anything; we're frightened to open our mouths in case we say something that isn't kosher in 2013. Somebody should tell us what to say because no one is quite sure what is right and wrong.
"George (O'Grady) says coloured, somebody says black, but who is to say who is right and wrong, and for the chief executive who is a very educated man to get caught up then we need to decide what we can and can't say and move on quickly."
Montgomerie said the furore over the past week would not affect his relationship with the Spaniard.
"I feel for Garcia," said the Scot. "We are a family here on the European Tour, a close family unit and we stand up for each other. I've played a lot of Ryder Cups with Sergio and we are a very close family and we should remain that way. This shouldn't affect us."
The former No. 1 lamented the difficult path high-profile people have to take when making public comments.
"If I get asked at the next press conference I'll have to say 'sorry, no comment' and hope that is not offending anybody," he said.
"You just can't say a thing, can you? It's a shame, it's a pity. The three 'no-no's' are race, religion and politics and you are going to upset someone along the line if you mention any of them. It's time to move on and talk about golf."