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Golf-Woods apologises for spaz reference at Masters

Written by: Staff
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LOS ANGELES, Apr 13 (Reuters) Tiger Woods has apologised for comments he made during a television interview after the US Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday.

The American world number one, who tied for third place three strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson, was criticised for using the term ''spaz'' to describe his poor putting in the final round.

''Tiger meant nothing derogatory to any person or persons and apologises for any offence caused,'' Woods's agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement issued on the player's official website.

Bidding for a fifth green jacket at Augusta, Woods produced a display of uncharacteristically shaky putting on his way to a closing two-under-par 70.

He took 33 putts in the final round, including three three-putts and a pair of missed eagle putts from inside 10 feet on the back nine. Mickelson took 29 putts in a closing 69.

When asked about his play on the last day at Augusta, Woods replied: ''I putted atrociously today. Once I got on the greens, I was a spaz.'' In several countries, ''spaz'' is an offensive term for people affected with spastic paralysis, a form of cerebral palsy.

Britain-based disability organisation Scope, formerly The Spastics Society, said of Woods's comments: ''Once again, Tiger Woods demonstrates that we are two nations divided by a common language.

''Although in the U.S. the term ''spaz'' may not be as offensive as it is here in the UK, many disabled people here will have taken exception to his likening a golf stroke to that of 'a spaz'.

''UK disability charity Scope is confident that Tiger Woods would be devastated to learn that something he said could offend his fans, disabled or non-disabled.'' Wood's remark drew little attention in the US where ''spaz'' is a slang term for someone considered clumsy or inept.

REUTERS DKS PM2327

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