Golf, like the rest of the world, made big strides to returning to normal in 2021.
The crowds came back to the PGA Tour, the usual tournament schedule played out and even Jordan Spieth looked more like, well, Jordan Spieth. But while there were a lot of things to celebrate, there were also plenty of regrettable actions as well, ranging from bad decisions to bad tempers. And as it is Thanksgiving in the US, our Golf Digest colleagues in America have highlighted the turkeys of the year. So grab a plate and eat up:
We start with one of the best golfers on the planet, who muttered a homophobic slur to himself after missing a putt that was picked up by a microphone. To JT’s credit, he owned up to his mistake and apologised profusely – but it didn’t keep longtime sponsor Ralph Lauren from dropping him. And it didn’t keep us from giving him a big turkey.
Definitely not the point, but keep wondering why Rudy called this a joke. What is the punchline? pic.twitter.com/VNKgoq92KS
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) February 19, 2021
Yikes. Wie would respond by calling Giuliani’s comments “unsettling” and “highly inappropriate”. Here’s a tip we didn’t think we’d have to provide to such a public figure: if you’re not sure whether to tell a “joke” – especially with the cameras rolling – then you probably shouldn’t tell that “joke”.
It’s really, really hard to mess up a special moment like the one we saw at this year’s Masters with Lee Elder, the first black golfer to tee it up in the tournament back in 1975, getting the nod as an honorary starter with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. But Wayne Player, the nine-time Major champ’s son who was working as a “caddie” for the ceremony, used the opportunity to do some not-so-subtle guerilla marketing for OnCore golf balls:
There’s tacky and then there’s that. “The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with,” Wayne told Golf Digest. Yeah, Wayne, because that’s what everyone cared about in that moment. Amazingly, this wasn’t Wayne’s first rodeo when it comes to Masters controversies, but it could be his last because he’s reportedly been banned from the tournament.
No stranger to being a villain, this governing body really stepped in the stuffing with its decision to cancel one of the four women’s D-I golf regionals. There’s only so much you can do when seven inches of rain pelts a golf course, but doing nothing and automatically ending 12 of the 18 teams’ seasons? Not good.
So here it is, the LSU regionals at Baton Rouge has been cancelled due to the course being “PLAYABLE BUT NOT AT A CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL”!!!!! Disgraceful how this whole week has been handled!!!! Every player worked so hard for this week and this is how we are treated!!! SHAMEFUL!!! pic.twitter.com/Z8FGrfYKLN
— Sara Byrne (@sarabyrne01) May 12, 2021