The contentiousness of the Ryder Cup reached the name-calling stage Thursday when the president of the PGA of America went on social media and called Ian Poulter a "Lil Girl" for Poulter's derogatory comments about Nick Faldo in Poulter's recently released autobiography.
Poulter, in a statement released exclusively to Golf Channel, called Ted Bishop's remarks "shocking and disappointing."
"Is being called a "lil girl" meant to be derogatory or a put down?" Poulter told Golf Channel. "That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."
The back-and-forth started with remarks Poulter made in his autobiography, "No Limits," which was published this week. The English golfer and European Ryder Cup mainstay said players had "lost a lot of respect" for Nick Faldo because of his recent comments calling Sergio Garcia useless in the 2008 Ryder Cup, which Faldo captained. That happens to be the only time Europe has lost the matches this century.
Bishop, who was instrumental in naming Tom Watson captain of the American squad, then led the charge to create a task force in the wake of a lopsided loss, hit back at Poulter over the comments about Faldo.
“It makes me laugh. Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup," Poulter wrote. "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."
Poulter's comments didn't sit well with Bishop, who appeared with Faldo earlier this week on "Morning Drive" to promote Faldo's junior golf program:
Bishop also expanded on his thoughts in a post to his personal Facebook page, which – like the tweet – was deleted more than an hour after publishing:
"Used to be athletes who had lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons," Bishop wrote. "Tom Watson (8 majors and a 10-3-1 Ryder Cup record) and Nick Faldo (6 majors and all-time Ryder Cup points leader) get bashed by Ian James Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C'MON MAN!"
Later Thursday, PGA spokesman Julius Mason issued the following statement:
“Ted realized that his post was inappropriate and promptly removed it.”
Bishop said in an email to The Associated Press, “Obviously I could have selected some different ways to express my thoughts on Poulter's remarks. Golf had always been a sport where respect was shown to its icons. That seems to have gone by the wayside.”
A screenshot of the Facebook post is below: