First, Williams said caddieing for Adam Scott's Bridgestone Invitational victory was the biggest win of his career. Then he used a racial slur when referring to Tiger Woods. Either way, Williams is clearly the butterball of the year.
JD should change his first name to something that begins with W, so he can start going by WD. Unamused by his mid-round exit from the Australian Open, tournament director Trevor Herden said, "I would say this will be the last time we see John Daly."
Woods has long taken heat for his blue language. But this year brought a new etiquette violation: spitting on the green in Dubai. "Disgusting, what he has just done there," said Sky Sports' Ewen Murray. "It does not get much lower than that."
Westwood already was a lightning rod for criticism when he was ranked No. 1 despite never having won a major. He didn't help his image when he skipped The Players Championship. He blamed red tape, but that wasn't flying with many observers.
McIlroy's stellar 2011 was not without missteps. He skipped The Players Championship because he doesn't like the course. Then he complained about the harsh nature of links golf after he tied for 25th in the wind and rain at the British Open.
One of the strangest examples of a fan trying to draw attention to himself occurred at the Frys.com Open, where some nitwit threw a hot dog at Tiger Woods. "He was just an idiot," director of tournament security Dan Diggins said.
Finchem came under fire for not issuing the Comeback Player of the Year award, and for delaying the issuance of Player of the Year ballots until after the HSBC Champions, a move seen by some as a slight against Luke Donald.
Overzealous golf course architects
After the first round of the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, Phil Mickelson said the renovations are "a perfect example of how modern architecture is killing the game" and called certain holes "unplayable for the member."
The USGA and R&A in October said players would no longer be penalized for balls that moved, through no fault of their own, after address. We're sure Webb Simpson, who was penalized a stroke during the Zurich Classic, wants to know what took so long.
Lexi Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic despite not yet having turned 18. Instead of immediately making her an LPGA member, commissioner Whan dragged out the inevitable decision until after the Solheim Cup.
Playing in the French Open, Watson complained about the fans and lack of security, then said he wanted to get home "as fast as possible." After critics began to fire back, Watson took to Twitter to apologize.