Bishop's trolling is par for his course

By Jason SobelOctober 24, 2014, 1:08 pm

You might have rolled your eyes when outgoing PGA of America president Ted Bishop sang the praises of something called "footgolf" as part of his unending grow-the-game initiative.

You probably shook your head when Bishop acted in defiance of the USGA and R&A after anchored putting was deemed illegal starting next year.

You were right to have been hoppin' mad when the man with "USA" shaved into the side of his head watched his hand-picked Ryder Cup captain get picked apart by the team's veteran leader after another loss, then slunk away that evening without ever facing the music himself.

For all of Bishop's cockeyed, obtuse and, often, egocentric adjudications, though, none have been so profoundly doltish as his latest social media rantings, which left him sounding less like an industry leader than a frustrated fan reduced to message board trolling.

In case you missed it, Bishop challenged Ian Poulter for his recent criticisms of both Nick Faldo as 2008 European captain and Tom Watson in the role for the U.S. this year. But it wasn't that he chirped at a player that was so perplexing. It was what he said and how he said it.

Perhaps hoping to make one more self-serving headline before his tenure ends next month, or more likely not knowing how to keep from creating another one, Bishop referred to Poulter as a "Lil Girl" on Twitter. For greater effect – and to ensure there would be no cry of an ill-timed hacking – he said Poulter "sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess" on Facebook.


Golf Channel exclusive: Poulter reacts

Timeline: Poulter vs. Bishop


The insinuation isn't just categorically immature, it also reeks of sexism from a man whose mission has been to grow the game amongst the masses.

The posts were deleted after about an hour, with the PR-framed apologies quickly falling in line, but the message remained.

After all, it was also through Twitter where in the aftermath of this latest imbroglio some women took to summarily criticizing the ol' boys' network which has governed the game for so long.

"Not the best strategy to grow the game," one woman tweeted. "People & comments like Bishop's are why women don't play."

Added USA Today columnist Christine Brennan in a tweet, "When will the struggling golf industry realize its sexism is terrible for business?"

This is the same Bishop who, when the R&A recently voted to include female members for the first time, took it upon himself to offer the following statement: "Women have played and will continue to play an integral role in the game of golf. In fact, women represent the biggest growth market in the sport, and every step to make golf more inclusive is good for the game."

That comment sounds especially ostentatious in the wake of his misogynistic tone toward Poulter.

If Bishop wasn't already being relieved of his duties soon, this latest embarrassment would be enough to call for a resignation.

Instead, it will unceremoniously mark the end of a narcissistic reign during which the PGA president curiously infused himself as part of the regular news cycle. It will remain as a lasting memory of a presidency that featured too much face time, too much self-absorption and too many ill-fated decisions.

For a man who so often reminds us that he represents the 27,000 men and women who serve as PGA of America members, there’s little doubt that today many of those members will remind us that he doesn’t wholly represent their views, either.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm