For golf being the ultimate gentleman’s game, there sure seems to be a lot of cheating going on at the highest levels.
Golf.com’s Anonymous Pro Survey found in September of 2018 that 44% of PGA Tour players responded that they had witnessed a fellow pro skirt the rules. Now, with the European Tour’s 2019 schedule about to get underway in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, a European edition of the survey was conducted with very similar results.
According to 34 pros polled — six of whom were Ryder Cuppers and four of whom were major champions — 45% said that they had witnessed cheating by a peer during a tournament round while only 3% admitted to having knowingly broken a rule and reported it.
“I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night (if I intentionally cheated),” one pro said.
Another pro copped to skirting the rules, although it wasn’t in European Tour competition. “(I cheated) when I was 11 and it still bothers me,” he said.
Who would you rather have dinner with: Tiger or Phil?
“Table for one because Tiger would probably stick me with the check.” 👀
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) January 10, 2019
Among other interesting questions asked by the Golf.com team were “are U.S. fans generally less knowledgable than European fans?” — 65% said no — “what percentage of Euro Tour players aspire to play on the PGA Tour?” — 47% said 76-100% do — and “would you rather win one major or 10 Euro Tour wins?” — 97% picked one major championship victory.
The pros selected Rory McIlroy as the most naturally talented player on the circuit, Tommy Fleetwood as the best European player to not have won a major and Henrik Stenson as the funniest.
When asked which American player irritates the Euros the most, Bryson DeChambeau (%16) led the way over Bubba Watson (11%). Surprisingly (or not), Phil Mickelson received 5% of the vote as well.
Perhaps given Phil’s penchant for rubbing Euros the wrong way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nearly 80% picked dinner with Tiger over dinner with Phil with 12% responding, “Table for one, please!”
“Table for one because Tiger would probably stick me with the check,” one said.
“I’ve had dinner with Phil and I didn’t enjoy it,” said another.