Sir Nick Faldo issues apology to Rickie Fowler after Twitter dig that caused outrage online as the TV pundit claims he will ‘restrain in the future’
- Sir Nick Faldo issued a grovelling apology to Rickie Fowler after a Twitter dig
- Faldo slammed Fowler for his decline and made a cheeky remark about his PR
- The six-time major champion was clearly shocked by the depth of outrage
Sir Nick Faldo issued a grovelling apology to Rickie Fowler after a light-hearted Twitter dig at the popular American caused a storm of protest.
Faldo retweeted a Golf Digest article detailing Fowler’s precipitous decline and, in a mischievous reference to the Californian’s considerable corporate commitments, added: ‘Good news is if he misses the Masters he can shoot another six commercials that week.’
Now a respected analyst on American television, the six-time major champion was clearly shocked by the depth of outrage that followed on his Twitter timeline and in the wider golf world. It led to him posting a two-minute video apology on his Twitter feed, entitled: ‘Hello friends…’
Sir Nick Faldo (right) issued a grovelling apology to Rickie Fowler (left) after a Twitter dig
That opened another can of worms, of course, for where on earth is the game headed if someone of Faldo’s stature cannot offer such throwaway criticism of one of the current crop of players. ‘I’m going to restrain in future from digging a little too deep,’ the Englishman concluded.
Faldo is not the first to wonder aloud whether Fowler’s off-course activities have contributed to his alarming decline from being one of the world’s best to falling all the way to 65th.
In 2017, his coach Butch Harmon made a pointed reference to Fowler’s social media activity and an estimated 25-30 corporate days he undertakes each year. ‘You gotta decide: are you going to be a Kardashian or a top pro?’ the straight-talking Texan told him.
Faldo began his apology by stating his comment was ‘a little over the top,’ before adding: ‘I’m a Brit and we only roast the ones we really like.’ He then explained he was only trying to motivate Fowler.
Faldo began his apology by stating his comment aimed at Fowler was ‘a little over the top’
One of the genuine nice guys, Fowler certainly needs something good to happen. He has played in the last 41 majors but that streak is in serious danger of coming to an end. He needs to clamber back into the world’s top 50 over the next month or he will miss the Masters for the first time since he emerged in 2010.
At the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Friday, Fowler had three birdies in his last five holes for a second-round 70 and faced an anxious wait to see if he made the cut. No such problems for rising Norwegian Viktor Hovland and a trio of Englishmen hoping to continue a run of three straight wins in this event for European players.
Hovland shot 68 at Bay Hill in Florida to finish on seven-under par, two shots behind pace-setting Canadian Corey Conners. In-form Paul Casey, winner of the Dubai Desert Classic last month, is two shots further adrift following a bogey-free 69 while Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick both shot 71 for four under par.
Casey said: ‘I wouldn’t say my round was anything brilliant but it was clean and tidy and I enjoyed it.’
Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, who lit up the first day with rounds of 66 and 67 respectively, were among the later starters.