08.11.09 9 years ago 7 Comments

Tiger Woods claimed that one of the reasons that Padraig Harrington succumbed in the Bridgestone Invitational was because of the warning from a PGA Tour official that they were playing too slowly. It’s common practice for the Tour to time each group and force them to adhere to a certain pace of play. Woods and Harrington were warned on the 16th hole by European Tour chief referee John Paramor told Wood–which is also known as being put “on the clock.” [emphasis added]:

Paramor said the final pairing was well behind most of the back nine, but officials gave them time to catch up. They were still 17 minutes out of position on the 16th tee, when they were put on the clock.

Tiger did not take kindly to the notion of being hustled through the end of the tournament:

“I don’t think that Paddy would have hit the pitch shot that way if he was able to take his time, look at it, analyze it,” Woods said. “But he was on the clock, had to get up there quickly and hit it.” via.

Most people are interpreting Woods’ remarks as a show of respect for his fellow competitor, and let’s hope that all it is. Because every scorecard from every golf course in America reads, somewhere, “Keep pace with the group ahead.” Woods and Paddy were almost two holes behind; they surely got as more of a time allowance than they deserved. Supportive or otherwise, Woods needs to do better than calling out a rules official that was just doing his job. There’s plenty of whining about officials’ rulings in other sports. You’d think Woods were getting paid by the hour, instead of by the stroke. I only pay by the stroke in the Champagne Room in Vegas. It’s cheaper.

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