PGA of America president Ted Bishop's two-year term was set to end Nov. 22. The organization's board of governors bumped up that date on Friday, voting to oust the controversial president after Bishop made remarks on social media channels with a sexist tone.
On Thursday, Bishop attempted to defend six-time major champion Nick Faldo in his ongoing verbal war of words with Ian Poulter. In a tweet on his personal account, Bishop referred to Poulter as a "lil girl." On his Facebook page, Bishop extrapolated on the sentiment, saying Poulter, who was critical of Faldo in a new memoir, "sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess."
Bishop deleted his posts hours after they were initially published, offering no apology or explanation for what he said. According to Golf Channel, Bishop was offered the option of resigning the presidency, but he declined.
"The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf," said PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua in a statement. "We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example."
PGA of America vice president Derek Sprague, expected to become president at the November annual meeting, has ascended to interim president.
"We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident," Sprague said.
Bishop issued a statement Friday night, saying in part, "I want to apologize to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media that appeared on October 23, 2014. Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words 'little girl' because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf.
"My two children, both girls, have made their careers in golf. I have a 4-year old granddaughter who I hope will someday play the game. In my 37-year career in golf, I have worked with many women to grow the sport and I have been a champion for inclusion and equal rights for women in golf."
Bishop also said he was told he would not be given the role of honorary president, as is custom for outgoing presidents of the PGA, and would not be recognized as a past president of the association.
This was really the only option for the PGA of America, which had no reason to support Bishop, whose two-year term was coming to a close. Sprague was all set to become president in a month's time, so it became unnecessary to wait for that formality.
PGA of America president Ted Bishop wanted to defend six-time major champion Nick Faldo, who he spent Thursday with at an event, in his ongoing public spat with Ian Poulter. However, in the process, Bishop made remarks indefensible for a person of his stature in golf.
Responding to published shots Poulter took at Faldo in his new autobiography "No Limits," Bishop came to Faldo's defense, referring to to Poulter as a "lil girl."
He made similar comments on his Facebook page. Both of his posts have since been deleted.
On Friday morning, the PGA of America issued a statement explaining Bishop's word choice through spokesman Julius Mason: "Ted realized that his post was inappropriate and promptly removed it.”
Poulter responded Friday morning, saying to Golf Channel, "Is being called a 'lil girl' meant to be derogatory or a put down? That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."
The comments from Bishop, who is nearing the end of a two-year term as PGA of America president, are disappointing not only given his stature in a male-dominated sport, but also that he was instrumental in teaming with the LPGA to form a new major championship, the Women's PGA Championship, starting next year in replacement of the long-standing LPGA Championship.
In his book, Poulter took up for Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia, who Faldo called "useless" during TV coverage of the 2014 matches. Faldo claimed Garcia was distracted by a break-up and struggled to compete during the 2008 matches at Valhalla.
“Sergio puts a brave face on it but the rest of the guys are fuming,” Poulter wrote. “I’m shocked that he has said it. It’s highly disrespectful. It’s a cheap shot and it’s the worst possible timing.
“It makes me laugh. Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup. That’s the Ryder Cup where he was captain. That’s the Ryder Cup where the Europe team suffered a heavy defeat. And he was captain. So who’s useless?
“Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror. I have always got on great with Faldo in the past and I have a great deal of respect for everything he has achieved but this feels like sour grapes. It feels like a guy who is still bitter that he lost in 2008."
A 3-foot putt should not be exciting -- not even one for birdie. However, this golfer made it absolutely riveting.
This player, whose name is Greg, hit his approach shot close on the ninth hole at at The Golf House Club, Elie, in Fife, Scotland. Instead of simply knocking the ball straight in the hole for birdie, Greg decided he'd try his luck with the backstop hill behind the green. He putts the ball just far up enough the hill to come back down all the way into the hole for a magical make.
It's one of those moments you try sometimes with your buddies, but it almost never pans out, much less catch it on film.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem boiled down the Americans' loss in the Ryder Cup to a simple problem: getting smoked in the foursomes format.
"You can’t play foursomes down 7-1 (in eight foursomes matches) and think you’re going to win the cup," Finchem said Wednesday at the McGladrey Classic in Georgia. "Seven to one in the Friday and Saturday (matches); you’re climbing a mountain.”
It makes sense, then, that Finchem sees no sense in the 11-man task force charged with skeweriing all aspects of the American approach to the biennial matches with the hope of ending a three-match losing skid. Finchem wasn't invited to be part of the committee, but it also doesn't sound like he blessed it.
“They made more birdies than we did and that’s the reason we didn’t win the cup," he said, according to Golfweek. "It's not the first time it’s happened.”
The fix, then, is as simple as getting better in the foursomes format. The PGA of America can't do much to facilitate more alternate-shot golf, but Finchem and the PGA Tour, which has re-engaged the PGA of America more in the last two years than the prior two decades, can.
Finchem acknowledged the possibility of hosting a "side event" that'd essentially be an exhibition tournament in the foursomes format. With the extinction of the Tavistock Cup, the week of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March now has room for a unique exhibition that could stand to improve the Americans' chances in regaining the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.
Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park are Nos. 1 and 2 in the Rolex Rankings, and neither are competing in this week's inaugural Blue Bay LPGA in China. However, when the rankings are released Monday, Park will overtake Lewis as the world's top-ranked female player.
The ranking formula, which covers a rolling two-year period and devalues past performance over time, will swing in Park's favor because an event she played this week in 2012 will no longer count toward the number of event she has played in the last 104 weeks. Lewis' tally will not change. Already in a statistical dead heat for the top spot in the world -- separated this week by a miniscule 0.0062 points -- that small change in the formula gives the edge to Park.
Lewis' current reign will end after 21 weeks atop the rankings. She took over on June 2 after a win in Atlantic City, ending Park's reign of 59 weeks.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Lydia Ko is helpless this week. Even if she wins the Blue Bay LPGA, she cannot overtake Park for the top spot. However, it may well be an inevitability Ko becomes No. 1 in the next year.
You will soon be able to finally play a course designed by Tiger Woods.
Woods' El Cardonal, a project developed at the Diamante development in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, will open on Dec. 16. The 14-time major champion made the announcement on Twitter.
The course will play about 7,400 yards from the tips, but has been hinted that litany tee box options and locations will make the course playable for all lengths and skill levels.
The grand opening seems to have not been affected by Hurricane Odile rolling through the region in September, causing widespread damage and power outages.
This marks the first time a Woods design has been taken to completion. Woods was hired in 2006 to design his first course in Dubai, then a year later in the mountains of North Carolina and in Baja Mexico in 2008. None of those courses opened, all derailed for myriad reasons mostly related to the worldwide recession in 2008.
Woods is currently designing a course called Bluejack National, which will be an exclusive private club near Houston. El Cardonal won't see much foot traffic either, with only Diamante homeowners and resort guests able to play the course.