Nine great golf feuds that you probably forgot about
Tiger Woods, John Daly and Vijay Singh were all involved in some of golf's greatest feuds.
With the Bubba Watson -caddie feud from the Travelers Championship behind us for the most part (I'm sure Watson will comment on it at the AT&T National this week), I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the great golf feuds that we all probably forgot about.
Watson yelling at his caddie was pretty trivial compared to some of the stuff that has happened in golf's somtimes-sordid past.
Heck, even Watson telling Steve Elkington that veterans can "kiss his ass" looks weak by comparison.
There are the obvious ones ( Tiger Woods - Sergio Garcia , Woods-Steve Williams, etc.), but these were nine jewels that got lost along the way.
Without further ado.
1. Seve Ballestros vs. Paul Azinger -- At the 1989 Ryder Cup, Ballestros asked Azinger if he could take a scuffed ball out of play. Azinger declined. Then, at the 1991 Ryder Cup, when Azinger accused Ballestros of making noise during his backswings, Ballestros classically replied, "Everybody knows I have allergies."
2. Mat Kelly vs. Grant Buchanan -- Wait, who? Kelly caddies for Marc Leishman (who led the Masters this year), and Buchanan also caddies for an Australian named James Nitties . At the Australian Open in December 2012, Kelly allegedly said to Buchanan (whose golfer was trying to break onto the PGA Tour): "You blokes are f---ing kidding. Why are you wasting your time in America?"
The next day, the two caddies went to the ground at the practice putting green and had to be separated but not before a few lips were bloodied.
3. John Daly vs. Bob Roth -- Bob Roth's son, Jeffery, was playing in the group ahead of Daly at the World Series of Golf in 1994, and Daly twice hit into their group. According to this article, the elder Roth jumped on Daly's back and wrestled him to the ground outside the clubhouse. Not surprisingly, the 62-year-old Roth was the one who left with bloody injuries.
4. Dave Hill vs. J.C. Snead -- At the 1991 Transamerica Senior Golf Championship (yes, senior golf), Snead was hitting balls on the range close to a spot where Hill was standing. James Achenbach of GolfWeek has the rest: "Hill yelled at Snead, then grabbed a club and came after his much bigger adversary. After punching and wrestling their way to the ground, they were separated by other players and caddies."
5. Jim King vs. Pete Sesso -- In his book, Good Bounces and Bad Lies, former CBS golf analyst Ben Wright tells the story of King and Sesso. Sesso was a PGA Tour official who put Tour pro King on the clock at a tournament in Massachusetts.
What ensued was terrifying: "With that, King picked all 200 pounds of Sesso up out of his cart with one hand, and shoves his fist into Sesso's face before slamming him back down into the cart."
I think he got his point across.
6. Old Tom Morris vs. Allan Robertson -- According to Golf.com, Morris worked for Robertson until a golf-ball incident split them apart in 1849. Morris favored the new gutta-percha golf balls made from Malaysian rubber. Robertson used to -- get this -- pay caddies a penny apiece for "the filth" as he called it and then burn them in his fireplace.
The first equipment war.
7. Tiger Woods vs. Stephen Ames -- This one is pretty well known, but Ames taunted Woods before the 2006 Match Play Championship saying, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting the ball." Woods torched Ames 9 and 8 in the tournament. When asked for his reaction to Ames' comment after the round, all Woods said was, "9 and 8."
8. Vijay Singh vs. Rory Sabbatini -- Neither golfer is known for being very, um, pleasant. Things came to a head at the 2012 Sony Open when Singh swore at Sabbatini's caddie for allegedly moving while Singh was trying to putt. Sabbatini told the New York Times about the incident. "The only thing I told Vijay is whatever he was saying to my caddie is inappropriate. I was just sticking up for my caddie, who doesn’t deserve to be talked to in that manner."
9. Gene Sarazen vs. Walter Hagen -- At the 1933 US Open, the younger Sarazen was asked how he thought the older Hagen would do. He said, "Why, they don't have rocking chairs anymore in golf. How can Hagen win?"
Hagen finished T4 at 4 over while Sarazen faltered and finished a terrible 15 over. As the story goes, a boy caddie delivered Sarazen a small rocking chair as he finished his Sunday round. The kid said, "Mr. Hagen sent this out. He thought you might need it."
One last note: Can you imagine if somebody jumped on Woods' back or delivered Phil Mickelson a rocking chair on the 72nd hole at the US Open in today's this-will-be-on-YouTube-in-20-minutes society?
Video of that would dominate the Internet for a year.
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