In a bid to wipe the slate clean and no longer have to veil their true identities Richard Bland and David Howell today joined Paul Casey, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Chapchai Nirat and Colin Montgomerie in revealing they have been living as homosexuals all their lives.
“It’s a weight off our shoulders to be out and proud,” said Bland and Howell in a joint statement from their bed alongside Tim, Darren and Howard Clark who also revealed themselves as gay men today.”
"For years we’ve been on Tour surrounded by burly men; where the only woman is a 70 year old prune in the scoring tent, nature takes its course” said Bland. “We’ve kept it in until now, worried of what might appear in the Personal section of our profiles on the European Tour site," said Howell whilst holding hands with Bland, Thomas Bjorn, Alex Cejka, Louis Oosthuizen and Ignacio Garrido.
The move prompted several PGA Tour players to follow suit within hours. A joint statement on behalf of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Graeme McDowell and Davis Love III read, "After years of secrecy, and prompted by the actions of our brothers on the European Tour we decided it was wrong to stay in the closet, especially after Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Johnson Wagner and Bubba Watson had come out."
Following the flurry of outings, a number of satellite Tour players held hands and openly proclaimed their gay love including Walker Cup inseparables Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar.
"It’s great that they’re all out now” said Charlie Mulking, the veteran golf journalist. “Between you and me, I had a feeling about Colin Montgomerie and Ignacio Garrido but young McIlroy and McDowell, that’s some serious layers of deception right there. Three cheers for the Bakerloo Boys!”
With both main Tours shook to their foundations, George O’Grady and Tim Finchem, after themselves coming out as also being gay, appealed to the public for calm.
"Golf is for everyone, not just the guy beside you on the factory floor or openly gay men and women like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Fuzzy Zoeller and Annika Sorenstam," Finchem said in a speech yesterday. "Gone are the days when being gay is stigmatized. Yes I am gay. And so is my wife. And my twin girls are lesbians. And so is our dog."
"And so was Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen," O’Grady interjected.
Though widely met with a quiet acceptance not all reactions have been positive, however. A statement from Rory Sabbatini said “You’re not getting me and you’re not getting behind me either. I’m off to the Asian Tour where there is absolutely no gayness whatsoever.”
Inspired by an onion story and Emily Howell’s photo!