It’s a competitive division but no golf organisation does self-inflicted black eyes quite like the USGA.
The architects of numerous entirely-avoidable US Open catastrophes in recent years were at it again last night when they walked back a tweet posted on their PR account on Sunday, in which they spectacularly called out Justin Thomas.
Responding to a series of tweets from the former world No.1 in which he criticised some of the new rules implemented this year by the USGA and R&A, the organisation claimed that Thomas had cancelled scheduled meetings with them multiple times.
Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 2, 2019
After finishing up at the Honda Classic on Sunday night, Thomas hit back.
“It really hurt me,” said the 25-year-old. “It was upsetting to me because the information they put out there was inaccurate in terms of me cancelling meetings, and that doesn't make me look good, and that's just when I got a little upset.”
Last night, the USGA tweeted again… to say that they’d got it wrong.
After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings. We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules.— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 5, 2019
Conspicuous by its absence, of course, is the word ‘sorry’.
Thomas, meanwhile, has not commented on the latest piece of correspondence, choosing to simply retweet it.
As you might expect, the ‘non-apology’ hasn’t gone down very well with social media users, including Thomas’ fellow former world No.1 Lee Westwood.
This must be a parody account. That or this is one of the worst apologies I’ve ever seen! @JustinThomas34— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) March 6, 2019
The lesson here? Think before you tweet.