Tom Watson Declines Offer to Join PGA of America Hall of Fame

September 28, 2015

Tom Watson has turned down an offer to join the PGA of America’s Hall of Fame, according to a Golf World report.

The 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, chosen by former PGA of America President Ted Bishop, wrote the following in a text to Golf World: “While I was very flattered by PGA President (Derek) Sprague’s honoring me to be inducted into PGA Hall of Fame, I couldn’t accept in good conscience because of how the PGA mishandled the firing of my friend and immediate past president of the PGA, Ted Bishop.”

Bishop had the following to say Monday afternoon to about Watson’s decision when reached by telephone:

“I didn’t know anything about it myself until 7:30 a.m. this morning. It wasn’t anything that Tom discussed with me. I probably was as surprised as a lot of other people were.

“[Watson] had my total support as the Ryder Cup captain, and in turn I think I had his total spport as president of the PGA of America. There was a lot of mutual respect for what the other guy did. We’ve had a great relationship and I’ve enjoyed it both leading up to and after the Ryder Cup.

“In my time as president of the PGA of America one of the things I feel really proud of is the relationship I have with Tom Watson. He stands for all the things that are great about this game.”

After sending multiple tweets in response to an Ian Poulter critique of Nick Faldo–calling Poulter a “lil girl”–Bishop was removed from his position as president of the organization in October 2014 only three weeks before his contract was set to expire. 

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Watson is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The 66-year-old captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the second time in 2014 and lost to the Europeans 16.5 to 11.5. In the wake of the loss, Watson was widely criticized for his decision making during the matches.