PGA commissioner Tim Finchem and the LPGA both came out solidly Saturday in support of the firing of Ted Bishop as PGA of America president after "inappropriate" remarks on Twitter.
Bishop called British golfer Ian Poulter a "lil girl" on Twitter and a Facebook posting, prompting the PGA of America board of directors to remove Bishop, who later apologized for his comments.
"The PGA of America`s quick and decisive action sent a strong message, reinforcing a consistent belief that with so many positive gains being made among golf`s leading organizations, there is simply no room, nor willingness, to take a step backwards," the LPGA women`s tour said Saturday.
Finchem praised Bishop`s contributions to the sport but backed the move also.
"We understand and respect the PGA of America`s decision regarding Ted Bishop," Finchem said.
"During Ted`s presidency, he accomplished many positive things and the PGA of America and the PGA Tour have worked in a much more collaborative and positive way as a result of his leadership.
"While his remarks on social media were unfortunate and inappropriate, Ted`s apology was heartfelt and sincere. We will always appreciate Ted`s commitment to the game of golf."
Bishop declined to resign when asked by PGA of America officials but did issue an apology.
"I want to apologize to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media," Bishop saod.
"Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words `little girl` because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf.
"This is a classic example of poor use of social media on my part."
Bishop had helped bind the PGA closer with the tours, one deal prompting the PGA Championship to change its motto from "Glory`s Last Shot" as the final major of each year to provide greater respect for the PGA Tour`s season-ending events that follow it.
Another will see the LPGA Championship rebranded as the Women`s PGA Championship starting next year.
"The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf," PGA chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua said. "We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example."PGA of America vice president Derek Sprague will replace Bishop on an interim basis for the final month of his term until new national officers are elected November 22.
On Thursday, Bishop tweeted to Poulter "(Nick) Faldo`s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time Ryder Cup points. Yours or His? Lil Girl."
Bishop added fuel to the fire on his Facebook page, accusing Poulter of belittling Tom Watson and Faldo.
"Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C`MON MAN!," Bishop wrote.
Bishop`s comments were in reaction to Poulter`s recently released autobiography.
In the book, Poulter stated that players had "lost a lot of respect" for Faldo, who said Sergio Garcia was useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup.