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Wie blasts 'racist' comments from golf coach Haney

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Michelle Wie lashed out at comments from veteran golf coach Hank Haney on Wednesday, accusing the instructor of making "racist and sexist" comments about South Korean players at this week's US Women's Open.

Haney, best known for his stint as Tiger Woods' former coach, triggered uproar with a series of disparaging remarks about women's golf on his SiriusXM radio show.

In a conversation with co-host Steve Johnson about who might win the US Women's Open which tees in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, Haney commented: "I'm gonna predict a Korean."

"I couldn't name you like six players on the LPGA tour," the 63-year-old added.

"Nah, maybe I could -- well, I'd go with Lee. If I didn't have to name a first name, I'd get a bunch of them right."

Haney's comments were blasted by Wie, who has withdrawn from this week's major with an injury.

"As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that @HankHaney made disappoint and anger me on so many different levels," Wie wrote on Twitter.

"Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank... shame on you. I don't ever do this, but this must be called out."

In a second tweet she added: "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."

Australian golf legend Karrie Webb backed Wie's criticism.

"Well said @themichellewie Wiesy! Shame on you @HankHaney and Steve Johnson," Webb wrote on Twitter. "@PGATOUR if you're truly serious about supporting the @lpga and growing the game these two morons won?t have a voice anymore!"

Haney later apologised for his remarks in a statement 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."

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