• Menu
  • Menu

“Pushy” Broadcaster Jim Gray Removed From Northern Trust Open Coverage After Incident with Caddie

After a second embarrassing vehement altercation in six months with PGA TOUR interview subjects, Golf Channel broadcaster Jim Gray – who was called “pushy” and worse by fellow journalists and broadcasters – has been removed by Golf Channel from this week’s coverage of the Northern Trust open at Riviera Country Club.

Gray, who was involved in a shockingly discrediting display of invective in the heart of the media center with both Corey and Lisa Pavin at the PGA Championship last fall, this time drew the ire of Bobby Brown, caddie for TOUR star Dustin Johnson, for attempting to interview Johnson during back-nine play Thursday. According to USA Today:

“Gray apparently got into a heated argument with golfer Dustin Johnson’s caddie Bobby Brown Thursday. Johnson incurred a two-stroke penalty after nearly missing his tee time, a blunder Gray reported on the network’s Golf Central show. After Johnson posted a first round 73, Brown engaged Gray in a profanity-laced argument.

“Our aim is to provide the best possible golf coverage for our viewers. Anything else is a disservice. In order not to provide further distraction, we’ve decided to remove Jim from this particular assignment,” Higgins said Friday.

The Golf Channel was noncommittal on whether it will use the freelance Gray again after his second dispute in less than a year.” AP Tour reporter Doug Ferguson reported that at least six reporters witnessed the profanity-laced dust-up.

While Brown is known as one of the more affable and eloquent caddies on the TOUR, troubles follow Gray like crows. The argument with the Pavins occurred in the media center in front of a house full of working press. In what may be the iconic moment of his career, Gray drew nearly universal condemnation for his aggressive “wrong place, wrong time,” attempt to get Pete Rose to admit to gambling on baseball at MLB’s All-star game years ago. Indeed, Gray’s career has become defined not only by his longevity or excellence – which he unquestionably has – but unsightly controversies which tend to overshadow his otherwise strong work.

“He’s not golf,” fumed one venerable golf writer who spoke on condition of anonymity. “After two unsightly incidents in a short time, I have no choice to conclude that his reporting style is bad for golf. If he can’t keep from becoming the story, he shouldn’t be out here. The TOUR has a business to run and the players have livings to make. Gray either knows the rules and impenitently chooses to push the boundaries anyway, or he needs a refresher course and shouldn’t return until we can be sure he’s not going to be a liability to the game, the TOUR, Golf Channel and, most importantly, the contestants.” The same reporter called Gray “pushy” last year after his confrontation with the Pavins.

As a rule, reporters inside the ropes are not permitted to talk to contestants unless the contestant initiates the conversation. According to sources, Gray asked questions of Johnson between holes.

Author’s Note: We will follow up with Golf Channel, Bobby Brown, and DJ later in the day for further information on this story.