The Top 20 Quotes of the 2011 Golf Season
Listed in roughly chronological order...
1. "It's disgusting what he's just done there. You look at his work ethic, and he's a credit to the game and an inspiration to all of us who are trying to be professional golfers, but some parts of him are arrogant and petulant. Somebody has to come on the green and maybe putt over his spit — it doesn't get much lower than that.” --Sky Sports commentator Ewen Murray after Tiger Woods was shown spitting on the green at the Dubai Desert Classic. Woods was later fined by the European Tour and apologized for the incident.
2. "I'm glad he's out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer. I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what's going on." --Former Vice President Dan Quayle, on criticism of President Obama for playing golf
3. “Tiger was the dominant player. He won 14 majors. Think about it, 14 majors, in such a short period of time. Who is ever going to do that again? Who knows? That is pretty dominating. So for us, myself, Phil, Vijay, Davis, Fred Couples, guys like that to have played under a guy who was that good, we took a beating, not only from him, but from you guys, too. It's been a tough -- it was a tough 10, 12 years for us.” --Ernie Els at the WGC-Cadillac Championship
4. “As my social status in Japan is getting higher, I believe that is one of the responsibilities, to provide for those people who are in need." --Ryo Ishikawa, on his decision to donate all of his 2011 earnings to earthquake relief in Japan
5. "I’ve gone back and putted that putt a hundred times since. … [and] it’s never broken left again." --Jack Nicklaus at the 2011 Masters on his birdie putt on 17 at the 1986 Masters
6. “I hate that word. It's just a terrible word. It's not something you want to be associated with -- worst thing you can be called in golf, apart from ‘cheat.’” --Rory McIlroy, on the c-word –- “choke” -- after his final-round meltdown at the 2011 Masters
7. “I still can’t believe, with just 45 minutes left in that broadcast, how many people could have conceivably won it. It was so exhilarating because that’s what you want—to have the chance to keep people on the edges of their seats. I can’t tell you how many e-mails I got from people saying, ‘I couldn’t even go to the bathroom. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to miss anything.’ ” --Jim Nantz, on Sunday at the 2011 Masters
8. "You could see it a couple of weeks ago at The Masters. Tiger was playing fantastic the first nine on Sunday but there wasn't really somebody who was scared of him any more.” --Martin Kaymer after the 2011 Masters
9. “How are we going to count all the shots? I can’t keep track.” --Kevin Na, on his way to a 16 at the Valero Texas Open
10. "Our hat policy is the same as Augusta’s. Turn your hat around.’” --Quail Hollow member to Rickie Fowler
11. "His swing is definitely better than mine was at the same age. But in '99 my swing came together, and I had a pretty good next two years." --Tiger Woods, on Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open win
12. “I can't f***ing hit it. I'm f***ing useless.” --Darren Clarke, on the putting green the week before winning the British Open
13. "I've caddied for 33 years, won 145 times and this is the most satisfying win of my career." --Caddie Steve Williams after Adam Scott won the Bridgestone invitational
14. “I don’t have any.” --Phil Mickelson’s caddie Bones Mackay after being asked how many wins he has
15. "I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again." --Roger Ebert, on the golf movie Seven Days in Utopia
16. "I don't recall ever saying the Tiger era is over." --Luke Donald after The Daily Express published a story with the headline, "Luke Donald: The Tiger Woods Era is 'Over' "
17. "If it were going to be banned, it should have happened 20-plus years ago. But now that it's been legal, I don't think you can make it retroactive." --Phil Mickelson, on belly putters
18. "Almost every guy who finished at the top of the leaderboard was in the top five in greens hit and ball-striking. To me, that's the ultimate.That's pure golf, not a bunch of scrambling crap." --Johnny Miller’s defense of the Cog Hill redesign after criticism from Phil Mickelson and others
19. “I feel like even if I went to HSBC and won, they’d find another event to add.” --Luke Donald, on learning that the PGA Tour decided to include the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai in the Player of the Year vote after Donald won the money title
20. “No. I make sure I remain totally illiterate in that state." --Jack Nicklaus after being asked if he tweets
All photos from the Associated Press, except for Johnny Miller (Getty Images)