If you can’t wait to watch Vijay Singh get the full “Saturday Night Live” treatment, there are always the comic stylings of Lee Westwood, who said Thursday he believed deer antler spray was a car wax.
“Deer antler spray? It sounds like something you’d wax your car with,” Westwood told Bernie McGuire following the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. “I’ve never heard of it.”
Westwood made his remarks on the same day that Singh withdrew from the Phoenix Open (purportedly with a back injury, though he may have begun a PGA Tour-mandated suspension for ingesting a banned substance), Mark O’Meara said the tour should bench his fellow Masters champion, and former British Open titleholder Bob Charles conceded he had been using the deer antler extract for 20 years.
And just when you thought this bizarre story could not get any weirder, along comes Colin Montgomerie, clutching his belly as proof that he had never taken an illegal drug.
“I can only speak for myself,” Monty told McGuire. “It is not widespread in the Montgomerie family. And you can see that.”
What O’Meara could see was that Singh violated the tour’s drug policy and ought to pay the price for his conduct.
“Probably Vijay should be suspended for a couple of months, and I don’t know what the PGA Tour commissioner is thinking, but listen people have had to pay the price before and he should be no different,” said O’Meara. “And if that is the case then the commissioner of the tour feels Vijay should be suspended for an ‘x’ amount of time and Vijay’s man enough that he will accept that.”
Tom Pernice Jr. would take exception to O'Meara's opinion. In an appearance on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" Thursday, Pernice, one of Singh's closest friends, repeatedly argued that Mark Calcavecchia received no punishment in 2011 for using the same substance.
Neither, apparently, did Charles. The 1976 Open Championship winner said he used and promoted the prohibited product for two decades, and like Singh, the 76-year-old New Zealander said he was blown away to discover it contained a forbidden ingredient.
Charles was "totally unaware of illegal substances...being in the horn or the antler of the deer,” he told the Associated Press. “I take one or two deer velvet capsules daily and have been doing so for virtually 20 years or more."
Leave it to Westwood, though, to add a little humor to what seemed to be taking shape as golf’s first real doping scandal.
“You just have to be very careful what you take and I try not to take anything now other than Corona and vodka, and not together,” the former world No. 1 said with a laugh. “So that would be my drug of choice.”