By John Strege
Twitter, for some professional golfers, apparently is akin to, say, playing the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass — tough to avoid trouble, though with a wedge or 9-iron in your hands it probably shouldn't be.
Web.com Tour player Tom Gillis, 45, who has previously played on the PGA Tour and the European Tour, is the latest golfer to have found trouble via Twitter, with two Tweets that have rankled the membership at Crestview Country Club, site of the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kan., and has tour officials investigating. Here are the Tweets:
[#twitter: https://twitter.com/tcgillis/statuses/479663119011049472] [#twitter: https://twitter.com/tcgillis/statuses/479663528387694592]
"I probably made the mistake of lumping everybody at the club into having a high opinion of themselves, when really there was one particular lady that was going to come out and chip balls because she didn't care," Gillis told Scott Paske of the Wichita Eagle on Friday. "She was mad that the tour was here because I heard her say it. She was 10 feet from me."
Tournament director Roy Turner took exception to the Tweets — "I think it's very poor on the player's behalf, and I'm not very pleased. "It hurts. It really does," he told Paske — and made Web.com Tour official Tom Hearn aware of them.
The tour does not discuss disciplinary issues, so we've likely heard the last of it.
Earlier this year, Champions Tour player Steve Elkington found himself in trouble for a Tweet about Michael Sam, a gay NFL prospect. Then another Web.com Tour player, Josh Broadaway, brought unwanted attention to himself for a Twitter rant directed at Nick Faldo for opting to play in the RBC Heritage.
UPDATE: Via Twitter, fellow competitor Colt Knost (though misidentifying the name of the club) came to the defense of Gillis, who apparently did not receive a warm welcome at the raucous 17th hole on Saturday. Gillis, to his credit, downplayed the incident: