MEET THE TURKEYS
At the Alstom Open de France in July, Bubba Watson had some less than kind things to say about the French crowd and the European Tour staff as a whole, blasting the event as "(N)ot a normal tournament." On top of that, his knowledge of the local Parisian landmarks left something to be desired--he couldn't quite place the Eiffel Tower ("That big tower"), the Arc de Triumph ("This arch I drove around in a circle") and the Louvre ("The building starting with an 'L'"). LPGA player Christina Kim summed up Watson's European adventure nicely: "He acted like a fool." C'est la vie.
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Oh Oh Oh...boy. PGA Tour players Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson put on their finest duds and most ironic game-faces to promote Crane's charity with a rap-tastic music video. Golf Boys' "Oh, Oh, Oh" was so successful that it inspired a tribute vid from four Ladies European Tour players. While neither group impressed many with their musical stylings, the men made a bigger splash (mostly by showing significantly more skin than the ladies). And there's a silver lining to the Golf Boys' musical abomination; as TIME Magazine music critic Claire Suddath put it, "I feel good knowing that when I see this video, I’m indirectly giving 10 cents to charity." Keep up the good work, gentlemen.
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John Daly is the closest thing that golf has to a Turkey of the Century, but this may be his last year on this list--simply because he's running out of tournaments that are willing to let him play. In fact, he may be running out of whole continents. Daly has always had a certain flair when it comes to withdrawing from tournaments, and his flameout at this year's Australian Open was no different, with Long John packing it in after dunking SEVEN balls into the water hazard on the 11th hole. Daly's invitation to the Australian PGA Championship (played two weeks later) vanished just as quickly.
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Would it be a list of turkeys without Rory Sabbatini? Just when it seemed like Sabbatini had finally reached inner peace, he was put on the equivalent of double-secret probation in early May for two separate but equally bizarre outbursts at Tour events. First, the fiery South African berated a teenaged volunteer after he thought the youth had (accidently) touched his ball at the Northern Trust Open (while helping Rory look for it, no less). Then, Sabbatini decided to pick on someone his own age when he got in a screaming match with normally mild-mannered Sean O'Hair at the Zurich Classic. You stay classy, Sabbo.
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As if Tiger's reputation hadn't taken enough of a beating, the former World No. 1 was taken to task for spitting on 12th green after missing a putt at February's Dubai Desert Classic. For that, Tiger got a verbal lashing from the media and was fined an undisclosed amount by the European Tour. Though Woods apologized, Sky Sports' Ewen Murray described the incident (somehow not ironically) as "one of the ugliest things you will ever see on a golf course." Clearly Murray has never seen the YouTube video of John Daly with his shirt off.
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AND THE WINNER IS...
When Steve Williams was unceremoniously fired by Tiger Woods in July, who would have thought that it would be Williams that would be the villain at year's end? After boasting that his first win with Adam Scott was the best week of his life, and describing his last two years with Tiger as "wasted," the New Zealander stepped firmly over the line with a racially-charged joke in early November. Adam Scott stood by his man, and Tiger and Stevie shook hands the next week at the Australian Open, but not before Williams took an insurmountable lead as Turkey of the Year.
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