The term golf fight seems like an oxymoron. Sergio Garcia's contretemps last week was a case in point. A pro-am partner at the Volvo Masters in Jerez, Spain, threatened to deck Garcia after El Nino gave him the wrong yardage on an approach shot, but no blows were struck. Actually, though, pro golf has a rich history of violence. Here's a sampling, and how we rate each incident.
Dave Hill versus J.C. Snead
At the Senior tour's 1991 Transamerica at Silverado Country Club in Napa, Calif., Snead hit several shots across the driving range to a spot where Hill was practicing. Enraged, Hill yelled a few choice words, then came after the much bigger Snead brandishing a club. Snead wrestled Hill to the ground, where the two of them rolled around in the divots until being separated.
[Three Boxing Gloves]Bonus points for fighting at their age.
Europeans versus Dottie Pepper
Incensed at Pepper's in-your-face competitiveness in the Solheim Cup, members of the 1998 European team took a plastic punching bag, put Pepper's likeness on it and gave it their best shots. The Europeans lost anyway.
[One Boxing Glove]Typical Euros. Too chicken to face Pepper.
Norman von Nida versus Henry Ransom
At the 1948 Lower Rio Grande Valley Open in Harlingen, Texas, Von Nida insisted that Ransom had whiffed on a short rake-in. Ransom claimed that he hadn't made a stroke. Following the round, the two got into a fistfight that was so intense it had to be broken up by the sheriff. Ransom was disqualified from the tournament and banned from the Tour for three months, while Von Nida, an Australian, was labeled a troublemaker.
[Three Boxing Gloves]It's always the foreigner causing a commotion.
Ted Ray versus Wilfred Reid
After the second round of the 1913 U.S. Open, Reid, the co-leader, had dinner with several other British players, including Ray, who was two strokes back. The men argued over the British tax system, and Ray punched Reid in the nose, flooring him, then landed another shot as the bleeding Reid struggled to his feet. The next day Reid shot 85-86 to finish 16th, while Ray went on to lose a playoff to Francis Ouimet.
[Four Boxing Gloves]An old-fashioned fl if butt-kicking.
John Daly versus Bob Roth
On his way to a final-round 83 in the 1994 World Series of Golf in Akron, Daly twice hit into the players ahead of him, angering club pro Jeffrey Roth. After the round, Daly and Roth argued. Daly directed profane comments at Roth's 62-year-old father, Bob, who jumped on Daly's back and knocked him down.