Disparaging comments made by the PGA of America president on social media networks at the expense of Ian Poulter sparked instant debate in the golfing world on Friday, reactions ranging from "disappointing" to "just unfortunate".
Late on Thursday, PGA of America president Ted Bishop referred to Poulter as a little girl because of critical remarks written by the Englishman about Nick Faldo and Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captains.
Bishop later removed his own comments from Twitter and Facebook, and said that he "could have selected some different ways" to express his opinion.
"It`s disappointing from his (Bishop`s) point of view that he has to get caught up in this type of controversy," Graeme McDowell, who played on this year`s triumphant European Ryder Cup team with Poulter, told Golf Channel.
"Ted just needs to understand that he is in a very influential position in growing the game of golf. He doesn`t need to be getting involved in this type of stuff.
"Poults has got a book coming out and what does a book need to sell? It needs controversy ..."
Poulter, writing in his autobiography "No Limits", said the 2014 European team were furious with Faldo who was captain during the 2008 defeat in Kentucky.
According to Poulter, Faldo had lost the respect of Europe`s top players after he described Spaniard Sergio Garcia as "useless" during their Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Gleneagles in Scotland this month.
"It makes me laugh," Poulter wrote. "Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup. That`s the Ryder Cup where he was captain. That`s the Ryder Cup where the Europe team suffered a heavy defeat.
"So who`s useless? Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror."
Europe cruised to a 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 victory at Gleneagles and U.S captain Watson drew some stinging criticism.
"Ecstatic as we are, quite a few of us are surprised by Watson`s decision-making during Saturday`s play," Poulter wrote.
"Most of all I`m astonished he does not play Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. He leaves them out of both sessions. It completely baffles me."
Bishop tweeted to Poulter: "Faldo`s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl."
And on Facebook, he said: "Tom Watson (8 majors and a 10-3-1 Ryder Cup record) and Nick Faldo (6 majors and all-time Ryder Cup points leader) get bashed by Ian James Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C`MON MAN!"
In response, Poulter said in a statement released to Golf Channel: "Is being called a `lil girl` meant to be derogatory or a put down? That`s pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America."
PGA Tour veteran Davis Love III was largely supportive of Bishop.
"It`s just unfortunate what he (Bishop) said but I don`t think he meant anything bad about it," Love told reporters.