Gray taken off Golf Channel after confrontation with Johnson's caddie

jim gray
Getty Images
On Thursday, Dustin Johnson's caddie Bobby Brown told Jim Gray that the middle of the round was the wrong time to be asking questions.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series:

The Golf Channel removed Jim Gray from its coverage of the Northern Trust Open on Friday for his handling of Dustin Johnson's penalty for nearly missing his tee time.

Johnson's caddie, Bobby Brown, had the wrong tee time for the opening round, leading to a two-stroke penalty.

Brown said Gray approached Johnson on his way to the 14th tee to ask him why he was late to the tee. As Johnson was signing his card, Brown told Gray that the middle of the round was not the time to be asking such a question.

"Our aim is to provide the best possible golf coverage for our viewers. Anything else is a disservice," Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins said in a statement. "In order not to provide further distraction, we've decided to remove Jim from this particular assignment.

The Golf Channel said Gray's future would be an internal matter that is discussed at an appropriate time.

It was the second time in the last six months that Gray has become the subject of controversy for The Golf Channel.

He got into a finger-pointing argument with Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin in the press room of the PGA Championship. Gray had reported that Pavin told him Tiger Woods was going to be a captain's pick, and Pavin denied saying it.

Pavin said Gray told him he was a "liar" during the argument. The Golf Channel said at the PGA Championship that it stood 100 percent behind the accuracy of Gray's reporting.

Gray is a contract worker for Golf Channel who typically works most of the West Coast events and majors.

Johnson nearly was disqualified Thursday. His caddie mixed up the starting time, thinking they teed off at 8:12 a.m. instead of 7:32 a.m., and they were on the practice range when they were announced on the tee. That's a two-shot penalty, and Johnson then had five minutes to get to the tee box to avoid disqualification. He made it by just under 10 seconds.

According to Brown and Steve Stricker, who was in Johnson's group, Gray was waiting on Johnson during the long walk from the 13th green to the 14th tee.

Gray later reported Johnson said he was misinformed on the tee time.

After the round, Brown took the blame for the mistake and then turned his frustration toward Gray while Johnson was signing his card for a 2-over 73. Gray walked up on the conversation and Brown said to him, "Dude, you can't come up like that in the middle of the round. It had taken us 13 holes to get over that, and then you bring it up again."

Gray was composed in debating the incident with Brown.

Johnson did not mention Gray during a brief interview with The Associated Press in the parking lot Thursday afternoon, but Stricker was visibly angry when discussing it after his round, and several other caddies were outraged when they heard about it.

The PGA Tour was not involved in the Golf Channel's decision to remove Gray, spokesman Ty Votaw said.

 


Comments

LtClyde

Idiot should stick to phony LeBron James interviews!

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justdog

After the Pete Rose interview at the All Star game I never had much respect for his "journalistic style". Probably a good thing the caddies clubs were in the bag.
Golf is about moving on and this guy is like an anchor!

jvnelson

I have written for seven newspapers in my life and I would consider Jim Gray one of the most inconsiderate reporters I have listened to on the air. I have been a manager in my working life also and I loved firing people when they weren't good at what they did. I just said, "I want you to give you the chance to be good at something else." Let Jim be good at something else, Golf Channel. The opposite end of the spectrum is David Feherty. He is so considerate of all associated with the military. I love that, David, I am a Marine who served in Vietnam.

copark52

I Agree with you people but, Dustin Johnson is PRO golfer.
Caddie should not blame Mr Gray for Dustin's rounding score.
I thought PRO can control his mental game much better than we as weekend golfers.
And mr. Brown is also professional caddie .
I don't mean mr. Gray is conducting good, but Mr Brown did not handle good neither.
They shold be displine themselves more.

copark52

I Agree with you people but, Dustin Johnson is PRO golfer.
Caddie should not blame Mr Gray for Dustin's rounding score.
I thought PRO can control his mental game much better than we as weekend golfers.
And mr. Brown is also professional caddie .
I don't mean mr. Gray is conducting good, but Mr Brown did not handle good neither.
They shold be displine themselves more.

jeffmayse_1

I love The Golf Channel, but I can't watch any event in which Jim Gray is covering no matter what the sport. How is it that Ben Wright's career was ended for what he said, but this guy continues to be allowed to be a part of sports coverage? If I see Gray pop up anywhere on any channel, I have to change that channel. Effectively, I have fired him a long time ago.

mikeanthony888

This is consistent with his low ethic journalistic approach that was visible all the way back to the 1999 All Star Game where he tried to make a name for himself by ripping into Pete Rose. When the journalist becomes the story, it's no longer journalism. I can't believe he's lasted this long. Everyone knows the story is about him when he's on the air.

stevestipe

Finally! Appropriate and responsible action taken to sanction Mr. Gray. He should be barred entirely from covering any PGA events. We, the viewers and fans, don't require ' engineered drama ' from a journalist interested only in creating controversy. We simply want accurate and complete coverage of what is happening on the course. Players should not have to endure any questions from on-course reporters at all.

classio55

this time, i have to take the caddie's side...and gray should know better. this is the functional equivalent of walking up to peyton manning in the huddle, during a drive with a minute left and the team trailing by a field goal, to ask what happened on that interception in the first quarter. not a good exercise of journalistic discretion.

chuckberry

He's a clown trying to stir up controversy for attention

stevems2002

What has happened to golf where it has had to go so low that a "reporter" with Mr. Gray's reputation is even considered to cover the game on The Golf Channel? It used to be a gentleman's game.

stevems2002

What has happened to golf where it has had to go so low that a "reporter" with Mr. Gray's reputation is even considered to cover the game on The Golf Channel? It used to be a gentleman's game.

simimoffatts

They may as well fire him. No one's gonna want to talk to him. How could anybody even begin to think that would be okay? Is he purposely trying to sabotage Johnson's round? What a bonehead!

along_1

only an idiot like Gray would even think to ask a caddy about that in the middle of the round.