Wie Fires Back At Haney Over LPGA Comments

Golf instructor Hank Haney found himself in the midst of a firestorm on Wednesday thanks to comments he made during his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show, Hank Haney Golf Radio.

Joined by co-host Steve Johnson, the topic of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held at the Country Club of Charleston, was brought up.

“Hank, the 74th U.S. Women’s Open (is this week),” Johnson began. 

“I’m going to predict a Korean (will win),” Haney responded. “That’s going to be my prediction. I couldn’t name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour. 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.

“Honestly, Michelle Wie’s hurt. I don’t know anybody.”

Haney’s comments drew immediate blowback, including from the aforementioned Wie, who didn’t mince words when firing back at Tiger Woods’ former swing coach. 

“As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that Hank Haney made disappoint and anger me on so many different levels,” Wie tweeted. “Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank….shame on you. I don’t ever do this, but this must be called out.

“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.”

Haney was also publicly admonished by LPGA Tour pros Brittany Lincicome, Christina Kim, Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam among others, as well as Golf Channel personalities Jerry Foltz and Lisa Cornwell

Shortly after the comments were made, Haney said on the show that he meant no harm with his comments and apologized to anyone he may have offended. He also released a public apology.

“This morning I made some comments about women’s professional golf and its players that were insensitive and that I regret,” he said. “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 doing so.”

UPDATE (5/31): Haney has been suspended by PGA Tour Radio at the request of the PGA Tour.

“Mr. Haney’s comments on women’s professional golf were insensitive and do not represent the views of the PGA Tour or SiriusXM,” the statement read. “The PGA Tour is committed to and proud of the increasingly diverse makeup of our fan base, not to mention the power and accomplishments of the game’s world-class, global players – both on the PGA Tour and LPGA, whom we are working with more closely than ever before.

“SiriusXM proudly covers and supports both women’s and men’s golf and the athletes that make them great. At the PGA TOUR’s instruction, Mr. Haney has been suspended from the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio channel. SiriusXM is reviewing his status on SiriusXM going forward.”

The statement concluded with an acceptance from Haney.

“I accept my suspension and apologize again,” he said.