SAN FRANCISCO – It wasn’t Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but in the polite world of professional golf it was a solid undercard.
Miguel Angel Jimenez was 1 up in his Friday bout against Keegan Bradley on the last hole at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play when things got heated.
After hitting his drive left of the 18th fairway and over a fence that had been deemed a temporary immovable obstruction, which would allow for a free drop, Bradley consulted with a rules official and was in the process of taking two drops – the first away from the fence and then off a cart path – when Jimenez walked over and insisted he was taking an incorrect drop.
After a heated exchange involving Bradley, his caddie Steve “Pepsi” Hale and the Spaniard, Jimenez told Hale to “shut up” and the situation escalated with Bradley and Jimenez going nose to nose.
“I felt like he was being disrespectful not only to me but my caddie,” Bradley said. “I was kind of standing up for my boy here.”
Jimenez, who won the match, 2 up, downplayed the incident, telling reporters, “Whatever happened there is finished and is done. There is no point in talking about it,” he said.
Bradley, however, was still angry after the match and said that he and Jimenez talked only briefly in the locker room.
“We didn’t do much talking after the round. I have nothing but respect for him. He’s a great player out here but I have to be able to stick up for myself,” Bradley said. “It’s very rare when you’re getting a ruling with the rules official standing there to have another person kind of interject and be very, very over the top and accusatory.”
The match first became heated on the 13th hole after Jimenez conceded a short birdie putt to Bradley and Jimenez requested two rulings before taking a drop.
“I don’t know what Miguel thought we were doing or not doing, but maybe he didn’t understand that we had to drop twice [on No. 18],” Hale said. “I just stepped in to protect Keegan and he tells me to shut up. I did my best to back out, but Miguel was inappropriate. It was the most inappropriate thing I’ve seen on the golf course.”
Neither player had a chance of advancing to Saturday’s Sweet 16 after starting the week 0-2.
Other players weighed in about the confrontation on Twitter:
What happened again with Keegan Bradley's caddy and Miguel Angel Jimenez? That guy loves getting in trouble with players— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) May 2, 2015