The ability to leave the flagstick in while putting and taking drops from knee height have drawn the most attention of the new rules of golf that went into effect on Jan. 1. However, another tweak by golf's governing bodies wound up causing a heated—and random—Twitter spat between two European Tour winners on Wednesday.
The fun started when Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, following his first round of 2019 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Wednesday, commented on the new rule that allows players to repair spike marks on the green and said, "it will take some time to get used to it." Before adding this jab out of left field: "Unless you are Simon Dyson and you have been doing it for years."
Shots. Fired. Of course, Simon couldn't hear those shots, which were a reference to Dyson being fined and suspended by the European Tour in 2013 for illegally tapping down spike marks in an event eventually won by Fernandez-Castano, because he wasn't tagged in Gonzalo's tweet. But it turns out Fernandez-Castano, 38, had a good reason for that, one which also indicated that bad blood between these two golfers who have combined to win 13 European Tour titles is nothing new.
Fernandez-Castano doubled down on dragging up the incident from more than five years ago a little later:
Eventually, word got to Dyson, who responded with a series of tweets indicating he's moved on from the controversy:
Dyson, 41, is not playing in Abu Dhabi or things could have really gotten awkward on Thursday.