Bubba Watson's 2014 included his second green jacket and one of the best finishes of the year with his victory at the WGC-HSBC. But it was his protest of the long-drive contest at the PGA Championship that landed him on our annual poultry parade. The Tour's longest hitter pulled a 3-iron while claiming to "learn the golf course" during the competition, then hit driver on the same hole all four days of the tournament en route to a T-64 finish.
In one of the most talked about moments of the year, PGA of America president Ted Bishop lashed out at Ian Poulter on Twitter, calling him a ''Lil Girl'' in response to Poulter's comments about Europeans no longer respecting Nick Faldo. Bishop eventually apologized for the sexist tweet but was ousted as president one month before the end of his term.
U.S. Ryder Cup team
Not only did the U.S. Ryder Cup team get blown out - again - but they melted down in epic fashion afterwards, with Phil Mickelson blasting team captain Tom Watson in the post-tournament press conference as the two sat just a feet from one another. The ordeal led to several weeks of public bickering and resulted in the creation of the new U.S. Ryder Cup task force.
Patrick Reed might want to consider permanently stuffing his mouth with turkey, because it seems like every time he opened it this year, it landed him in hot water. First, it was calling himself a "top-5 player" in the wake of his WGC-Cadillac Championship victory in March, a statement for which he was largely mocked. Then, it was his uttering of a gay slur after three-putting at at the HSBC Champions earlier this month. He later tweeted an apology.
Ian Poulter became a habitual Twitter turkey in 2014, constantly engaging others in fights on social media. Not only was he the catalyst for the Ted Bishop saga, but he also publicly called Hideki Matsuyama an "idiot" after the 22-year-old damaged a green by thrusting his putter into it during the WGC-Cadillac. Poulter also complained in August about British Airways downgrading his nanny from business class. He received little sympathy.
In one of the most insensitive decisions of the year, the European Tour decided to keep playing the final round of the Madeira Islands Open after caddie Iain McGregor collapsed and died of a heart attack on the ninth fairway. Several European Tour members voiced their displeasure, including Mikko Ilonen, who tweeted, "Call it off NOW European Tour. Have some respect please."
Steve Elkington has became infamous for his tone-deaf tweets, and 2014 was no exception. During the NFL combine, Elkington made an offensive joke about Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player. "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine ... No one else expected to throw today," he sent out to his 60,000-plus followers. He later apologized and said he was ripping ESPN and not Sam, but the damage was already done.
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky
The same day Dustin Johnson backed out of the WGC-Bridgestone - a decision that would eventually turn into his "leave of absence from professional golf" - his fiance Paulina Gretzky posted this photo of the two of them "rehabbing" on the course. DJ is barefoot, with a drink in one hand and cigarette in the other. She quickly deleted the picture.
Denim took a big hit in the world of golf in 2014. Not only was Tiger Woods roundly chided for wearing "mom jeans," but denim was also the reason for a fight at a private club near Boston in October that ended with the club's president resigning and 10 members being suspended for three months.