Ranking the Most Memorable Quotes on the 2014 PGA Tour so Far
Heading into the home stretch of the 2014 PGA Tour season, we've heard a few memorable quotes and read some shocking announcements from players' representatives.
In ranking the quotes, a few questions were considered: How notable/memorable was the utterance? Was it surprising? Did significant things happen as a result of the statement?
Two of the most significant quotes of the 2014 season were presented by players' people. Dustin Johnson's and Rory McIlroy's representatives dropped bombshell announcements on behalf of their clients.
Which of the two tops our list, and why? Click through to see.
7. Tiger Woods
I've been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They've advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.
I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain's pick, I took myself out of consideration. The U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I'll be cheering for the U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.
I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7.
Why it's here: The statement put to rest any discussions of Woods making the Ryder Cup team as a captain's pick, relieving captain Tom Watson of the political pressure of having to pick the most popular golfer of the modern era for his team when that golfer is physically a shadow of his former self.
6. Bubba Watson
What he said: During the Wednesday practice round prior to the PGA Championship at Valhalla, the PGA of America staged a long-drive competition for charity similar to the one Jack Nicklaus won in 1963 and 1964.
The booming drives, of course, were a hit with fans, and players seemed to enjoy uncorking one once they reached the 10th tee.
All the players except one Gerry Lester Watson. Bubba, the tour's longest driver, pulled a 3-iron from his Ping staff bag and somberly struck a shot with that club instead.
As he explained later to the media:
I'm there to play golf, not to hit it far. I've got to practice. I've never been to the course. I don't need to worry about a long drive on the 10th hole.
We're trying to win a great championship. There's no reason to make something up in the middle of a practice round like that. This is just right there in the middle of your practice round while you're trying to see the course. Just kind of weird to me.
Why it's here: Bubba Watson's comments are a classic example of the unpredictable, often odd and sometimes prickly remarks the long-hitting lefty sometimes makes. He lands in the No. 7 spot because, sadly, there's not a huge element of surprise here.
5. Patrick Reed
What He Said: After his win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Patrick Reed said the following to reporters:
I’ve worked so hard. I’ve won a lot in my junior career, did great things in my amateur career, was 6-0 in match play at NCAAs, won NCAAs two years in a row, was third individually one year. Now I have three wins out here on the PGA Tour.
I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. It’s just one of those things that I believe in myself – especially after how hard I’ve worked – that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.
Why it's here: Reed's comments rocked the boat and were out of line with the expected bland modesty that defines most tour players' remarks. The cumulative effect of Reed's comments was to reshape his public image. While they were brash and unexpected, they haven't had far-reaching implications.
4. Adam Scott
What He Said: Adam Scott gave some details regarding his secret wedding to the media: "We just said we were having a party, so come on over. So then they had no idea that it was going to happen. So that was the fun little game for me and Marie to play for a while, planning it and stuff."
Scott married his longtime fiancee Marie Kojzar in a small, private ceremony at his Bahamas home.
Why it's here: While Scott hasn't had a situation as extreme as Rory McIlroy's in announcing his change in relationship status, he's been playing very solid golf, racking up top-10 finishes aplenty. His statement ranks so high in our list because of the the coolness factor: Adam Scott, one of the coolest dudes in the game, got married in secret and casually dropped the news a few weeks later.
3. Martin Kaymer
What he said: When asked what he was doing differently to play better golf after a brilliant course-record 63 at The Players Championship, former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer told reporters: "I stopped thinking. I thought a lot the last two years about swing changes...that every shot I made I reflect on it, what I did wrong, what I did right.
Why it's here: Kaymer's comments make our list at the No. 3 spot because of the results of the German's decision to power down his brain: a major championship.
2. Rory McIlroy
What He Said: Rory McIlroy issued the following statement announcing that he'd ended his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki on May 21:
The problem is mine.
The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn't ready for all that marriage entails.
I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we've had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.
Why it's here: Since splitting from Wozniacki, McIlroy has won two major championships, the BMW PGA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. From a golfing standpoint, McIlroy's decision has been a good one, to say the least. In that respect, there hasn't been a more significant announcement by a PGA Tour player this season.
1. Dustin Johnson
What he said: Dustin Johnson released the following statement at the end of July.
I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately. I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced. By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion.
I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement.
Why it's here: While we're not in the business of speculating as to the underlying reasons for DJ's bombshell announcement, it is the most significant and unexpected statement from a PGA Tour professional this year.