ORLANDO, Fla. – The phone call did come, although not the one Larry Nelson had hoped for.
Wednesday morning on XM Radio’s “Fairways of Life” show, PGA of America president Ted Bishop was asked by host Matt Adams to comment on reports that he had not contacted David Toms or Nelson about the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s vacancy.
“The statement you just made is not true,” Bishop said.
But less than two hours later Nelson told GTC that he had not talked with Bishop or anyone from the PGA of America regarding Thursday’s captain announcement.
“If they had made a decision a little earlier and let me know. If they had just called us and said, ‘We’re going another direction,’ I’d have been fine. I’m fine anyway,” Nelson said around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. “The way it’s come down and to have someone say that they did contact me when they didn’t, that didn’t make sense.”
Bishop has confirmed to GTC that he did call Toms at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and Nelson at 11:30 a.m. to inform both potential captains that the PGA had gone “in a different direction.”
“Let me say it saddens me that this thing has gone to where it has gone,” Bishop said. “A few weeks ago (Toms) sent a letter indicating his interest in being a captain and I felt I should reach out to him as a former PGA champion and let him know we were heading in a different direction. I wanted him to hear it from me.”
Bishop said he left a voicemail for Nelson, who is playing this week’s PNC Father/Son Challenge in Orlando, and according to Nelson’s manager with Blue Giraffe Sports the two have spoken.
“There is nobody more deserving of a captain’s spot than Larry. I think it was an injustice that he was passed over in the 1990s for a spot,” Bishop said.
At 65 Nelson was considered a longshot to captain the U.S. team in '14 in Scotland, despite being bypassed in 1995 and '97 for the post.