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.