Ernie Els called Golf Channel host and CBS Sports analyst David Feherty a "shock jock" in response to a joke made about Els' putting at the Tavistock Cup in March.
While introducing Els on the first tee, Feherty said Els had just "undergone a full frontal lobotomy" and would be “putting with a live rattlesnake."
The day prior to the Tavistock Cup, Els missed a 4-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the Transitions Championship in Tampa to miss out on a spot in the ensuing four-man playoff. Els was making a push to qualify for a 19th consecutive Masters.
"I've known David for a long time, but for him to have said that was totally shocking and – well, not out of character, because he tries to shock the world all the time, but it was a low blow," Els said in an interview with Golf Magazine.
“It wasn't a very classy move, but then again it's how he makes his living these days. He's kind of a shock jock.”
Feherty also said during the event that people had always wondered how Els lost a tournament with his beautiful swing and that “now we know.”
"I knew he was going to say something," Els said. "Shock the world, get your two minutes of fame. As an athlete, going through those emotions, it's not the greatest feeling to have, especially when he calls you a friend. At the end of the day, I screwed up in front of a lot of people on live television. But I'm still in the game. I didn't quit.
In response, Feherty offered an apology to Els.
"I gave everybody a hard time at the Tavistock Cup, and I did it in proportion to how much affection I have for the person,” Feherty said. “If that backfired with Ernie, I unreservedly apologize, because I love the guy."
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