It was inevitable. The moment Justin Thomas gave us back actual championship sports with the Sentence Enhancer Heard 'Round the Golf World, it was only matter of time before he felt the full brunt of the wrath of the Old Man Golf Media. He might have spoken for all of us in that moment. There may not be a man or woman among us who hasn't reacted exactly the same way before. It might have been a completely human moment. But sooner or later, he was going to run afoul of the guardians of golf's gates for his honest emotions. Thomas was going to be chewed out for his fooling around on the course and poor language:
Turns out it was sooner. And the moral gatekeeper is Golfweek's Craig Dolch.
As is usually the case, the hand-wringing isn't going come without a big windup about what a fine and decent young man Thomas is, and what a credit to the golfing world, as a disclaimer:
Justin Thomas is a model citizen and a world-class golfer. The best in the world, according to last week’s rankings. …
Thomas is the kind of man you would want to see at your front door to take your daughter on a date.
As Ned Stark put it, everything before the word "but" is bullshit:
But Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship once again showed the Jupiter resident has a problem – his competitive drive is so strong that when he becomes frustrated on the golf course, he starts dropping F-bombs.
And that problem is a bigger problem these days with all the hot mics sitting around spectator-less courses on the PGA Tour.
That is followed by a dive into how this was not simply a man losing his cool. It speaks to a serious moral failing on Thomas' part:
Later, on CBS’ telecast, Thomas could be heard cursing again when he hit a bad shot from the ninth fairway into a greenside bunker. Thomas muttered two expletives that clearly were audible.
Let the disapproving look, the head-shaking and the tongue-clucking begin:
This is not the way the son (and grandson) of PGA Professionals should be acting on the course, and Thomas know it.
If this were a junior event in the South Florida PGA, Thomas would be warned after the first offense and removed from the course and suspended after the second offense.
I don't know what the ad revenue is on a junior event in the South Florida GPA is, but my guess is Cadillac and Titleist would still want Thomas to play all 72 holes. Though we're not hear for my opinions, we're here for Craig Dolch's. And he's not so much angry as he's, well … disappointed:
Just about everybody heard his X-rated comment on ESPN, either live or on social media. Predictably, some had no problem with it because, hey, we’ve all been there on the golf course, having a rough moment.
But Thomas is a professional and he’s paid extremely well to act professionally.
"X-rated"? Thomas used the word as phrasal exclamation used as a qualifier, not as a verb. But I've got to stop interrupting while my man is on a roll:
Spit happens on a golf course. But there’s an easy cure.
I remember watching an LPGA Tour event 20 years ago with my daughter, Alexandra, when Dottie Pepper hit an offline shot. “Dang it, Dottie!” she scolded herself.
A day later, my daughter got upset at something and yelled, “Dang it, Dottie.”
The next time I saw Pepper, I profusely thanked her for her choice of words.
“I know some kids are going to be listening, so I try to be careful with what I say,” said Pepper.
[T]he stars who make $10 million-plus a year for playing a game, need to act and talk more responsibly.
We can hear you.
Thank. YOU. I'm so glad somebody had the guts to say it. Those tens of millions of American children who grow up watching golf Majors and are so easily influenced by the words they hear and the behavior of the athletes deserve better than Justin Thomas' potty mouth. If these PGA Tour professionals can simply learn to watch their tongues, they'll never be exposed to these sailor talk words. I mean, it's not like they're hearing them at school or seeing them on their phones every waking minute or watching Cardi B's "WAP" video on constant repeat. It's coming from those blown putts and sliced tee shots. And by gosh, it's time we cleaned up the verbal sewer that is professional golf once and for all. Before they corrupt yet another generation of our youth. Let's stop making Spit Happen. For the children.