Here’s something you hardly ever see in golf: Two players getting into a heated argument and almost coming to blows.
Well, that’s what happened on Friday afternoon at TPC Harding Park between Keegan Bradley and Miguel Angel Jimenez on the 18th hole of their match at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.
Bradley, who was 1-down in a showdown that basically didn’t matter since neither player could advance to the round of 16, hit his tee shot near a fence from where he was allowed a drop. He took one, but his ball came to rest on a cart path, where he was entitled to more relief. Jimenez walked over to check out what was happening and intervened. That’s what caused the argument to ensue.
Jimenez started pointing and apparently questioning the drop, which caused Bradley’s caddie, Steve “Pepsi” Hale, to interject. It was hard to understand the initial words that were exchanged via the video footage (see below), but Pepsi said to Jimenez, “You wanna talka some more?” in a fake Spanish accent, prompting the Spaniard to tell him to “shut up.”
That caused Bradley to get into Jimenez’s face and tell him sternly, “You don’t tell my caddie to shut up.”
Bradley repeatedly told Jimenez that “he needed to go over there,” gesturing toward Jimenez’s ball. He looked like he was ready to punch the 51-year-old fan favorite.
Here are several videos of the exchange:
The video of Keegan and Miguel getting into it a minute ago “You don’t tell my caddie to shut up” pic.twitter.com/TSXUpUPpYZ
— Adam Scott (@AScottPGA) May 2, 2015
Jimenez won the match 2-up. Afterward, Bradley and Jimenez shook hands and it appeared like Jimenez was trying to calm Bradley down, but Bradley continued to have words with his opponent. Pepsi tried to chime in, as well, but Bradley gestured for him not to interject himself into the conversation.
Here’s a Vine of the occurrence:
Drama, drama, drama!
Keegan was visibly upset about the incident afterward and reporters followed him to his car in the parking lot, where he had to stop and collect himself, according to ESPN.com’s Bob Harig.
“I felt like he was being very disrespectful to not only me but my caddie so I felt like I kind of had to stand up for my boy here; me and Pepsi have been through a lot,” said Bradley. “It’s just a heat-of-the moment thing. There’s not much more I can say. It was disappointing. I’m pretty bummed out about it.”
Pepsi also presented his take after the match.
“I don’t know what Miguel thought we were doing or not doing, but maybe he didn’t understand that we had to drop twice (on 18),” Hale said. “I just stepped in to protect Keegan and he tells me to shut up. I did my best to back out, but Miguel was inappropriate. It was the most inappropriate thing I’ve seen on the golf course.”
Afterwards, Jimenez tried to discuss the matter or smooth things over with Bradley in the locker room, but Harig reported that the media was not allowed to witness the exchange.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about it,” Jimenez said. “Whatever happened is finished. The round is finished. We had a discussion, but now it’s done. My intention was to be helpful, that’s it. I just tried to get across what I wanted to say.”
Added Bradley, referring to Jimenez: “I have a world of respect for him. He’s a great player out here.’ “I felt like I had to stick up myself. I had a ruling, he felt like he needed to intervene and he was bring inappropriate. Very rarely do you have a ruling and have the other person interject. It was over the top, accusatory.”
The whole situation was just not a good look for any of the parties involved, but in my humble opinion, Jimenez came out on top by a slim margin. Your take?