The PGA Tour's best have just completed the second major of the season, and already we have imprudent quotes (and ensuing scandals) aplenty.
Really, all five quotes on this list could have come from one Sergio Garcia. During and immediately following the Players Championship, the Spaniard went on a gaffe spree spanning two continents that would have made Dan Quayle envious.
However, Garcia is in good company this year, as Hall of Fame golfers and high-profile members of the PGA Tour have joined him in inserting their feet into their mouths.
It's impossible to believe Mickelson thought his comments would be well received when he made them. Over the course of several questions, the golfer dug himself a deeper hole, expanding on the "drastic changes" he was considering (per Alan Farnham of NBC News):
There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state...if you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do.
As Farnham observes, Mickelson's comments earned him "derisive hoots for being a whining rich guy who gets paid a fortune for playing golf."
As Bob Harig of ESPN reported, Sergio Garcia, in response to questions about whether he'd talk to Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open, said, "We'll have him 'round every night...We will serve fried chicken.''
Assuming the Spaniard was aware of the cultural connotations of mentioning the stuff in conjunction with African Americans, his comment was, at best, an ill-conceived attempt at humor.
The lifespan of the remark remains to be seen, but it could follow Garcia for a while. (What does the name Fuzzy Zoeller bring to mind?)
Deciding to play a tune from the Taboo Songbook, while already engaged in a baseless public battle with the most high-profile golfer in the game, displays the lack of forethought and absence of clear thinking that have won Garcia so many (zero) majors.
In a Sports Illustrated interview, Vijay Singh said he used deer antler spray (which contains a banned substance) "every couple of hours...every day" and was "looking forward to some change in my body."
Clearly, the golfer didn't do his research about the ingredients of the product he was purchasing. This alone is even more ill advised than the quote, since Singh didn't know he was doing anything wrong.
Regardless, Vijay may go the rest of his career without speaking a syllable to a reporter.
Kyle Porter of CBS reported a couple of Zach Johnson's gems following his missed cut at the U.S. Open. Johnson said:
“I would describe the whole golf course as manipulated."
“It just enhances my disdain for the USGA and how it manipulates golf courses."
"I think Merion is a great golf course, if you let Merion be, but that is not the agenda."
Even if Johnson's comments were valid, they were always going to appear to be the words of a sore loser. If he wanted what he was saying to be taken seriously, he should have defined "manipulated" and toned down the venom toward the USGA.
As Alex Miceli of Golfweek related (h/t Huff Post Sports), Ian Poulter, after a perceived affront, tweeted the following about/to Johnny Miller: “Johnny miller why don't you come interview me live and say that stuff straight to my face."
The eternally outspoken Miller had suggested that Poulter was being overly dramatic when he backed off a putt. Miscommunication ensued, and Poulter apparently thought NBC Sports' biggest talking head (literally) was referring to another incident.
The particulars don't really matter. What matters is that Ian Poulter apparently tried to track down the commentator to confront him and then fired off the tweet in question when he couldn't find him.
How could that decision ever be anything other than ill advised?