Just when you thought all of this Ryder Cup drama was about to die down. Oops.
On Thursday, PGA of America President Ted Bishop referred to European golfer Ian Poulter as a “little girl” on Bishop’s Twitter and Facebook pages. It was an immature response to Poulter’s recent criticism of how Nick Faldo (2008) and Tom Watson (2014) did as past Ryder Cup captains in his new autobiography. Poulter was also less than professional in that criticism, thus prompting Bishop’s tone.
Because, you know; two wrongs apparently make a right. Both posts have since been deleted.
You wouldn’t be able to tell by Bishop’s childish response, but the Prez’s main point of contention was his belief that both Faldo and Watson’s respective individual golf careers speak for themselves. This apparently makes either man exempt from any type of ridicule, especially from the likes of Ian Poulter. Whatever.
Here’s the problem: as a reminder, Ted Bishop is the president of the PGA of America; a position that is about as important to American professional golf as you could hope to achieve. He is also a key stakeholder and decision-maker come Ryder Cup time, which further highlights the sensitivity anything he says related to the event immediately carries. To put it bluntly, what he says is suppose to matter.
So much for that.
Without even addressing the fact that a man of his authority resorting to name-calling is obscenely degrading to American golf, Bishop’s analogy of choice is sure to touch a nerve among female golfers in this country. For a guy who has fretted about finding new ways to grow the game, it probably isn’t a good idea to refer to 50 percent of the sport’s population in an ignominious tone.
But hey, I’m just a stupid golf blogger. What do I know?
How about this: There is such a thing as “leading by example,” especially among individuals who hold a position of authority. There was nothing that Ian Poulter wrote in his book that invites Ted Bishop to react in any way, let alone in the shameful manner which he displayed on his social media accounts.
There is no excuse for someone of Ted Bishop’s status and responsibility to behave in a manner that would be embarrassing for someone at any age. If there was any question as to why the United States is not taken seriously at the Ryder Cup, perhaps we need not look any further than those at the very top.