Phil Mickelson beat a hasty retreat, his expensive, alligator-skin golf shoe wedged firmly in his mouth.
After making some poorly conceived comments on Sunday about the new tax laws in the United States, he had backed down on Tuesday, issuing a statement saying financial affairs should be a "personal matter."
If only he had taken that tack earlier.
Mickelson told reporters that he is facing a 62 per cent annual tax bill as a result of new laws enacted in the United States and California which are aimed at residents making more than a million dollars.
He makes an estimated US$48 million (Dh176.2m) annually and gets to write off most of his expenses, from caddie fees to jet fuel, as a business expense.
In addition to a scathing treatise posted on the Forbes Magazine website, Mickelson was hammered in myriad chat rooms, on Twitter and in the court of public opinion, where he was adjudged as being an ill-informed, disconnected heel during one of the worst economic periods to have hit society in global history.
He first insinuated that he might leave California – Tiger Woods moved to Florida in 1996 and the state somehow survived – but has backed down completely, no doubt having alienated many fans and perhaps even a sponsor or two.
"I apologise to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend not to let it happen again," he said.