Ian Poulter, Hideki Matsuyama, Robert Turner

Ian Poulter, left, talks to Hideki Matsuyama, center and his interpreter Robert Turner at the driving range on Saturday morning before the third round of the Cadillac Championship at Doral, Fla. (Jamie Squire / Getty Images / March 8, 2014)

We have an international incident at the Cadillac Championship after Ian Poulter of England blasted playing partner Hideki Matsuyama of Japan on Twitter as an "idiot" for damaging the 13th green at Doral, Fla., with his putter after missing a par putt on Friday.

Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel noticed the half-inch gash in the green when lining up a 12-foot par putt on the same line while playing in a group behind Matsuyama and Poulter. An official was called to the scene of the crime and repaired the green.

Schwartzel, though, missed the putt just as Matsuyama had done. The incident escaped notice until Poulter, who has 1.6 million followers, took to Twitter later that night.


That was followed by another, more critical, tweet.

Matsuyama, a 22-year-old who has risen to No. 22 in the world rankings after becoming the first rookie to win the Japan Tour money title last year, apologized to Poulter and their playing partner Jason Dufner at the driving range and reportedly was prepared to apologize to Schwartzel and his playing partners.

“He wishes he could apologize to the field,” Matsuyama's interpreter, Robert Turner, told reporters. “All he can do is promise not to do it again. No excuses.”


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