PGA president fired for 'insensitive' remarks

Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:05pm EDT
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(Reuters) - PGA of America president Ted Bishop was removed from office on Friday by his board of directors for "insensitive gender-based statements" posted on social media at the expense of English golfer Ian Poulter.

Bishop on Thursday referred to Poulter as a little girl because of critical remarks written by the Englishman about Nick Faldo and Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captains.

Though Bishop later removed his own comments from Twitter and Facebook and said that he "could have selected some different ways" to express his opinion, his statements were deemed to be inconsistent with the policies of the PGA.

"The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf," chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua said in a statement.

"We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example."

PGA of America vice president Derek Sprague has been appointed as interim president until Nov. 22, when the election of new national officers will take place at the PGA's 98th annual meeting.

"The members and apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times," said Sprague.

"We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident."

Bishop later released a statement after he was sacked from the organization, which represents more than 27,000 golf professionals, runs the year's final major, the PGA Championship, and also the Ryder Cup when it is staged in the United States.   Continued...

Aug 10, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; PGA golfer Rory McIlroy catches the Wanamaker Trophy as it slips out of the hands of PGA president Ted Bishop when presented after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports