2008 Ryder Cup - Paul Azinger's U.S. team wins, 16 1/2 to 11 1/2, over Nick Faldo's Europeans at Valhalla - only U.S. win since 1999. Sergio Garcia goes 0-2-2, including 5-and-4 singles loss to Anthony Kim. Its his worst record in six Ryder Cups.
Sept. 26, 2014 - During opening-day Ryder Cup telecast on Golf Channel, analyst Faldo says Garcia was “useless” and had “a bad attitude” during 2008 Ryder Cup.
Host Terry Gannon says that regardless of what Garcia has done on his own, he has been ''spectacular'' during the Ryder Cup.
''Yes, apart from one,'' Faldo replies.
When Gannon asks if that 2008 Ryder Cup still hurt, Faldo says: ''He was useless.'' After some laughter, Faldo adds: ''Half a point, bad attitude. Anyway, we move on six years later.'' (Garcia actually earned one point.)
Later that day, Garcia responds: "There's a lot of things I could say about Nick Faldo, but I'm not going to put myself down to his level.”
2008 teammate Graeme McDowell points out that Faldo benched Garcia and Lee Westwood for the Saturday afternoon session. “I'd say Sergio was fairly useless that afternoon, yeah," McDowell says, "because he wasn't able to play. So, yeah, I agree.”
Sept. 26, 2014 - In an interview with The Associated Press, Faldo says Garcia had emotional and physical problems at Valhalla and even told Faldo he did not want to play.
Faldo says Garcia was emotionally down after breaking up with his girlfriend and told Faldo he didn't want to play after the pairings already were in.
''He was always labeled as the man who brings emotion and passion. We didn't have it that week,'' Faldo tells the AP. ''That's, in my opinion, how it looked and felt.''
Faldo says Garcia was ''down in the dumps'' after Morgan Leigh Norman, the daughter of Greg Norman, had broken up with him.
''Friday morning, I'm going up the 10th hole with him,'' he says. ''I just put my arm around him and said, 'Are you good to go this afternoon?' And he said, 'Yes' to me. Then I get him on the 18th green and he says, 'I'm [expletive]. I don't want to play anymore. I've been on antibiotics.' I told him he was on the tee in 30 minutes.''
The pairings are submitted for the afternoon before the morning matches are over.
''That was the tone of Sergio for the whole week,'' Faldo says. ''He wasn't in it.''
Faldo says his choice of words - ''useless'' - stems from reacting on live television.
''I agree that was harsh. Everybody immediately goes straight to him that 'Faldo says you were useless' when they don't know the circumstances. It's live television. It's half tongue-in-cheek. It's a throwaway line with no malice.''
Sept. 28, 2014 - At Gleneagles after Europe’s 16 1/2-to-11 1/2 Ryder Cup victory, Garcia is asked if he received a congratulatory message from Faldo.
“I have not, but I really wouldn’t expect it anyway,” Garcia says. “I’m an open mind, I’m always willing to forgive and forget. It was an unfortunate comment. I’ll move on.”
Oct. 19, 2014 - In his newly published autobiography, “No Limits," Poulter says the European Ryder Cup team is furious with Faldo and many of the players have lost respect for him after he called Garcia “useless."
“Sergio puts a brave face on it but the rest of the guys are fuming,” Poulter writes in the book, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph. “I’m shocked that he has said it. It’s highly disrespectful. It’s a cheap shot and it’s the worst possible timing.
“It makes me laugh. Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup. 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.
“Faldo has lost a lot of respect from players because of what he said. There were plenty of things a lot of the players were unhappy with at Valhalla but none of us criticized him. He may find that begins to change now.”
Oct. 23, 2014 - On Facebook and Twitter, PGA of America president Ted Bishop criticizes Poulter for criticizing Faldo for criticizing Garcia.
@IanJamesPoulter -Faldo's record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl. @NickFaldo006 @pgaofamerica — Ted Bishop (@tedbishop38pga)
Bishop subsequently deletes the tweet
Bishop expands on his thoughts in a post to his personal Facebook page:
"Used to be athletes who had lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons. 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!"
Bishop later deletes the Facebook post, too.
Oct. 23, 2014: In a statement sent exclusively to Golf Channel, Poulter says:
"Is being called a "lil girl" meant to be derogatory or a put down? That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."