Jim Gray Removed From Golf Channel's Coverage After Incident With Caddie
Golf Channel removed reporter Jim Gray from its coverage of this weekend's PGA Tour Northern Trust Open after Gray "apparently got into an argument with golfer Dustin Johnson's caddie Bobby Brown" after the first round on Thursday, according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. Johnson was penalized two strokes after "nearly missing his tee time, a mistake which Brown blamed on himself." Gray "went out on the course to interview Johnson about the blunder in the middle of his round," which Brown "objected" to. Brown and Gray then "argued over the matter" after Johnson's round. Golf Channel was "non-committal on whether it will use the freelance Gray again after his second altercation in less than a year." Gray last August "got into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation" with U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin after Pavin "disputed Gray's report about Tiger Woods' selection to the team" (USATODAY.com, 2/18). ESPN.com's Bob Harig reported Brown told Gray "that he should not have been discussing a rules incident with Johnson on the course during the round" (ESPN.com, 2/18). A Golf Channel spokesperson said Gray was removed from the telecast because he "became a distraction from the golf being played." The spokesperson: "Our focus is to deliver great golf coverage and not take away from the viewer's enjoyment of the competition" (THE DAILY).
FORGETTING HIS ROLE: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote Gray "has become difficult to defend because he hasn't broken his nasty habit of drawing attention to himself with indiscreet, excessive behavior ... which he seems to confuse with hard-hitting journalism" (N.Y. POST, 2/20). GOLF WORLD's Chris Millard asks, "Would Gray dare ask Kobe Bryant a question as the Lakers guard was heading up court?" Millard: "Gray's puerile 'look at me' act, which has never been suited for golf, is increasingly grating" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 2/21 issue). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes it might be "time for Jim Gray to sit out a few plays." Jones: "There's a difference between being a hard-nosed reporter and an egomaniac who makes news as often as he covers it" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/21).