What was Tiger looking at? Given the amount of outbursts, politically incorrect statements and general complaining from his peers in the golf word, there's a good chance he was checking Twitter. We've recapped the best moments the social networking site has produced in the golf world over the years. Enjoy.
2 of 36David Walberg/SI
PGA of America President Ted Bishop takes to Twitter to call Ian Poulter a "lil girl" in defense of former Ryder Cup Captain Nick Faldo. Bishop follows up with a similar-themed Facebook post. He's removed as president less than 24 hours later.
3 of 36Getty Images
During the 2014 NFL Combine, Steve Elkington took to Twitter to deride ESPN's coverage of Michael Sam, the former Mizzou defensive end attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. He wrote: "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine....No one else expected to throw today."
4 of 36Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Lee Westwood had a disappointing finish to the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Early, early on Monday morning, apparently still stinging from his final-round 76 that left him tied for 33rd, Westwood sent a barrage of tweets - some explicit ones we couldn't include - to his followers who weren't exactly praising his performance.
5 of 36@WestwoodLee
Often labeled as the BPTNWAM (Best Player to Never Win a Major), Westwood plummeted 26 spots down the leaderboard on Sunday after a 41 on the front nine at Oak Hill.
6 of 36@WestwoodLee
Lee makes a fatal mistake here. A follower says "drink doesn't solve anything," and Westwood follows with a "oh it does! Plenty!"
It suddenly all makes sense.
7 of 36@WestwoodLee
Note the timestamps...this has been going on for hours. And there's a weirdly long time between each tweet.
8 of 36@WestwoodLee
And it keeps going. The common answer to controversial tweets is to declare your account was hacked and hope everyone believes that. Westwood takes away that option here.
9 of 36David Cannon/Getty Images
Westwood's apology the following morning: "Sincere apologies to my sponsors and true followers for my earlier comments. It was out of order and out of character, Westy ."
10 of 36@McIlroyRory
After shooting a 1-under 71 in the first round of the 2011 Irish Open, McIlroy took out his frustration on Jay Townsend, former Euro Tour pro and BBC television analyst: “Shut up. You're a commentator and a failed golfer, your opinion means nothing!”
On the air, Townsend had said McIlroy “played silly, several times already today." Townsend then took to Twitter to add a criticism at McIlroy’s caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald: "McIlroy’s course management was shocking. some of the worst course management I have ever seen beyond under 10's boys golf competition."
McIlroy later told reporters he was done with the social media interaction with the analyst. "He's been having a go at J.P. every now and again. This was the first time I've responded. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Now I've blocked him on Twitter, so I won't be reading anything more."
11 of 36@CaroWozniacki
Unfortunately, he can't block his girlfriend. After rumors of Rory's break-up with former world No. 1 tennis star Caroline Wozniacki had surfaced, Caroline tweeted a picture of her sleeping, drooling boyfriend as he caught some shut-eye. That didn't help those rumors.
12 of 36AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Ian Poulter isn't shy on the golf course, and he certainly isn't shy on Twitter. After NBC commentator Johnny Miller criticized Poulter's ball-striking during the 2010 BMW Championship, Poulter fired back: "Johnny miller saying today I wasn't a good ball striker. I guess I do alright for a duffer then. He talks such bollocks at times."
He wasn't done. "I will have to try and win a couple of majors like him and see if I can change his mind until then I'm happy being a overrated duffer"
13 of 36AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Perhaps Poulter's most famous Twitter rant was, like Westwood, during the 2013 PGA Championship where the Englishman finished tied for 66th and didn't break 70 for the tournament. Poulter took on fans who yell "Baba Booey" and "Mashed Potatoes!" immediately following his tee shots.
14 of 36@IanJamesPoulter
Poor Steve Elkington (has that ever been typed before?) was caught in the line of fire.
15 of 36@IanJamesPoulter
I'm not sure if thrushes (Thrushes make up Turdidae, a family of passerine birds that occurs worldwide) would appreciate being lumped in with intoxicated fans who are purposely disruptive only for the small chance they can hear themselves on television after they rush home and watch the entire telecast waiting on DVR.
16 of 36@IanJamesPoulter
How is punctuation such a struggle for athletes?
17 of 36@43BH
Well this isn’t good for the player-coach dynamic. After Nick Watney opened the 2013 Memorial Tournament with rounds of 82-77, Butch Harmon (@43BH) offered his expert analysis: “Wow N Watney +15, didn’t see this coming. Must be having some personal problems. Or some physical problems he can’t shoot that high. Don’t mean to upset all the Watney fans was just thinking out (loud). Nick is like a son to me I love him. He will be fine by the U.S. Open.”
Harmon promptly quit Twitter.
18 of 36Andrew Redington/Getty Images
To Watney’s credit, he didn’t respond when he was showed the tweet later that day and only offered, “Interesting. No comment."
19 of 36Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images
Paul Azinger caught the ire of ESPN management when he tweeted some opinionated “facts” about President Obama and the state of the POTUS’s golf game: “Facts: Potus has played more golf this month than I have: I have created more jobs this month than he has.”
ESPN’s response: “Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field.”
20 of 36Fred Vuich
Within the same year, Azinger voiced his opinion on gun control after the Sandy Hook school shooting: "Americans are free to do a lousy job of raising kids, glorify violent films/videogms, omit God, then blame the gun for a murderers actions?"
21 of 36@DanfromDC
Before a recent change on Twitter, the direct message was a way for private communication between two mutual followers or a one-way stream from the followee to the follower. Azinger used the function to electronically accost poor @DanfromDC in October of 2012.
22 of 36@PaulAzinger
Azinger couldn’t resist jabbing Tiger Woods in one of Tiger’s first tournaments after his sex scandal. In the 2010 Players Championship, Woods withdrew due to a nagging neck injury midway in his final round. Azinger tweeted: “Tiger withdraws because of pain in the neck. Could this have been prevented by a good Swedish massage?" After some backlash from his followers, he said, "It appears some of you uptight tweeters could use a good Swedish massage!”
For those of you wondering what you missed, Tiger’s ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, is Swedish.
23 of 36Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Where to begin with Steve Elkington?
When he was at the 2013 Senior British Open in Southport, England, he had to receive a police escort for his third round after sending racist tweets the night before. I suppose we can start there.
Elk’s tweets: “Couple caddies got rolled by some Pakkis (Pakistanis), bad night for them. Things about Southport - fat tattooed guy, fat tattooed girl, trash, Pakistani robber guy, s-t food."
24 of 36Jeff Gross/Getty Images
His apology: "In my tweet I was referring to an unfortunate incident involving a caddie earlier in the week. Being Australian, I was unaware that my use of language in relation to the Pakistani people would cause offence, but having been made aware I now deeply regret the use of that terminology. Southport is a beautiful place and I have enjoyed playing at Royal Birkdale, as my positive content on Twitter has shown. My comments were born out of frustration over what had happened to a colleague."
25 of 36@Elkpga
In other less offensive posts, unless you’re Bubba Watson or Graeme McDowell, Elkington goes after the attire of two of the most popular players in golf. First, Bubba.
26 of 36@Elkpga
27 of 36Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
John Daly is usually a solid follow on Twitter for pictures of himself hitting a driver in a tutu, hitting a driver off a tee held in a guy’s mouth and generally hitting a driver from strange places. But Daly used Twitter as a form of retaliation for Florida Times-Union reporter Garry Smits after the paper released details of John Daly’s PGA Tour disciplinary file.
"here's the JERK who writes NON-NEWS article on debut of my show -- CALL & FLOOD his line & let's tell him how WE feel,"
"Over the haters – To me, this isn't journalism, it's paparazzi-like gossip. Please try harder to find some REAL news next time Gary.”
Gnight ALL but here's GARY SMITS cell number in case you didn't get it ... non sports writer."
The kicker? The only way Smits got his mitts on the file was Daly’s unsuccessful libel lawsuit against Smits' newspaper.
28 of 36David Cannon/Getty Images
Slow play plagues everyone. Some use Twitter to vent about it. Most don't have more than 40,000 followers to complain to like Christina Kim does.
"Phew, I'm glad I don't have to play behind [Sakura] Yokomine today. She's slower than trying to bake a pie with a lighter."
"Tamie Durdin may be an absolute sweetheart, which she is, but she is without a doubt one of the slowest players on Earth."
29 of 36Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
She also went after Phil Mickelson. Phil!
"I love Freddie and Lee. I disdain Phil, TW is flailing, KJ has an outside chance... You? [Phil] because he is a lackluster human being. I hate to say it bc his fam is suffering, but he provides me with no excitement or joy"
30 of 36@Stacy_Lewis
After losing to Shan Shan after an amazing and lucky shot on the final hole, Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) caught some flack after posting her post-round thoughts on Twitter.
"Congrats to Shan Shan on the win, crazy shot at 18. Very disappointed in the fans in China this week. Between all the cameras and cheering when I missed putts. It was just really hard to have fun out there. On to the next…Btw what till you see the shot on 18 that won it! Lets just say it involved a rock and the flag stick…For those whose were actually supportive on twitter, sorry to say I will be signing off of here. I'm sorry I say what I believe."
31 of 36@CharlieBeljan
If the key to Twitter is to insult the President and use too many consonants, then Charlie Beljan (@CharlieBeljan) has got this thing down pat.
"Praying that Paul and Romney can beat the biggest D Bag this country has ever seen. Holllllllla #Romney2012"
32 of 36@LukeDonald
How anyone can accidentally send a tweet is baffling. Was this supposed to be a text message? Or a direct message? Who sends direct messages? Luke Donald does, accidentally.
"Gil Hanse is a c--k! Ha ha."
The situation? Donald made a bogey on the newly Gil Hanse redesigned par-5 18th during the 2012 Deutsche Bank at TPC Boston and wasn't happy.
"Nothing quite like hitting my best shot of the day into the last and walking off with a bogie, what a terribly re-designed green #sourtaste"
33 of 36Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Amy Sabbatini, the ex-wife of PGA Tour pro Rory Sabbatini, doesn’t shy away from using Twitter account (@amysabbatini, previously @FormerMrsSabo) to voice her opinions, no matter how subtly they disparage her former husband.
“not married anymore..he had too many extracurricular activities with other women. Ill keep doing good stuff though. Reality Show filming tmr at my house...can't wait...I'm being evicted by my ex soon so I'm sure the drama will unfold...gotta feed my kids.”
34 of 36@FormerMrsSabo
35 of 36AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Hunter Mahan unwittingly wandered into a ‘controversy’ when he tweeted his thoughts on the sanctity of baseball’s unwritten rules. Golf is pompous about its precious rules book as well, so Fox’s MLB announcer Tim McCarver compiled a supposedly humorous account of golf’s unwritten rules in retaliation.
“If players are so upset at Puig celebrating a triple or clutch hits then get him out. I'm tired of hearing about baseball's unwritten rules.”
36 of 36@HunterMahan
Fox baseball commentator Tim McCarver responded with four clever rules of his own for golf.
--Let the pros wear shorts in 110-degree weather.
--Talk anytime your opponent is hitting, and talk loudly.
--Step on your opponent’s putting line.
--Drive into the foursome in front of you.
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