PGA president sacked for 'gender-based' tweet about Poulter

Ted Bishop has been sacked as PGA of America president after making "insensitive gender-based statements" about Ian Poulter.

Bishop called Poulter a "Lil Girl" in a series of outbursts on his personal Twitter and Facebook pages on Thursday in posts that have since been deleted.

Bishop, the 38th PGA president, was reacting to the English Ryder Cup star making critical remarks in his recently-released autobiography about Tom Watson and Nick Faldo's methods as captains in the Europe vs United States format.

Poulter hit back at the 38th PGA president, labelling the comments ''pretty shocking and disappointing'', and on Friday the PGA of America announced it had voted to relieve Bishop of his duties.

A statement read: "The PGA of America board of directors voted today to remove Ted Bishop from office for insensitive gender-based statements posted yesterday on social media.

"The board deemed the remarks to be inconsistent with the policies of the PGA."

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

"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."

Vice-president Derek Sprague has been appointed interim president until November 22, when there will be an election.

Sprague said: "We apologise to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident."

The PGA of America acted following Bishop's comments about Poulter.

Bishop first wrote on Twitter: ''@IanJamesPoulter -Faldo's record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl. @NickFaldo006 @pgaofamerica.''

Bishop then expanded his point on Facebook, saying: ''Used to be athletes who had lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons.

''Tom Watson (8 majors and a 10-3-1 Ryder Cup record) and Nick Faldo (6 majors and all-time Ryder Cup points leader) get bashed by Ian James Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C'MON MAN!''

Poulter, himself yet to triumph in a Major, was taken aback by the remark.

''Is being called a ''lil girl'' meant to be derogatory or a put down?'' Poulter told Golf Channel.

''That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment.''

The 38-year-old questioned Watson in his book, saying his captaincy at the recent Ryder Cup - which Europe won 16 1/2-11 1/2 - was ''utterly bizarre'' and handed the initiative to Europe.

Faldo, Europe's all-time leading points scorer, also came in for criticism from Poulter for saying Sergio Garcia was ''useless'' in 2008 in television commentary.

''Faldo has lost a lot of respect from players because of what he said,'' Poulter wrote in 'No Limits'. ''[2008] is the only Ryder Cup we've lost in the last 15 years. And he was captain.

''So who's useless? I think Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror.''

Bishop has since apologised for his comments in a statement issued to sections of the media.

"I want to apologise to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media that appeared on October 23, 2014," he said in a statement reported on www.geoffshackelford.com.

"Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words 'little girl' because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf."

"My two children, both girls, have made their careers in golf. I have a 4-year old granddaughter who I hope will someday play the game.

"In my 37-year career in golf, I have worked with many women to grow the sport and I have been a champion for inclusion and equal rights for women in golf.

"However, this is a classic example of poor use of social media on my part and if I had the chance to hit the delete button on the things that I sent out yesterday, I would without hesitation.

"The PGA of America asked me to avoid any interaction with the media in the past 24 hours and that is why I did not issue a formal and public apology, which I have wanted to do since early this morning."

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