The PGA of America extended an invitation to eight-time major winner Tom Watson to be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Watson, the 1993 & 2014 Ryder Cup captain and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said thanks, but no thanks for one very specific reason:
“While I was flattered by PGA President Sprague’s honoring me to be inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame, I couldn’t accept in good conscience because of how the PGA mishandled the firing of my friend and immediate past president of the PGA, Ted Bishop.”
Bishop was removed from his position, with only weeks remaining in his term, less than 24 hours after calling Ian Poulter a “lil girl” in a tweet responding to Poults’ criticism of Nick Faldo’s past Ryder Cup captaincy.
The PGA of America also stripped Bishop of his role as Honorary President on the Board of Directors and his rights and privileges as a Past President.
Watson was Bishop’s first choice to lead the American team to Gleneagles in 2014. Watson remains the last Ryder Cup captain to win the contest on European soil. The European team has won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups since Watson’s victory as captain in 1993 at The Belfry.
Watson’s return to the captain’s position didn’t go as planned in Scotland last year, with Europe winning 16.5 to 11.5.
A representative from the PGA of America indicated the invitation would remain open in the event Watson had a change of heart.