Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tiger to be fined - Bridgestone Invitational
Another Tiger controversy. This time Tiger criticises John Paramor for putting him and Harrington on the clock on the 16th hole. Harrington accepts that this had some influence on his 16th hole collapse (a triple bogey), but he has also said that the rules are the rules and therefore must apply to the last group as much as earlier groups. Good man, Padraig.
Tiger didn't see it that way. I doubt anyone else who was watching did either. The last pairing were clear of the field. They were locked in a titanic struggle and their focus must have been at 100%. To have an outside party (Paramor) interrupt that focus was both unfortunate and disappointing. It turned a magical battle into a farce.
This is my biggest complaint about the rules of golf: there's no leeway. It's black or white. And while they need to be black or white to avoid misinterpretation or abuse, some of the rules are difficult to understand. In the professional game where rounds can take over five hours, putting players on the clock is perfectly acceptable, but there must be a little leeway - surely. Tiger and Padraig were locked in battle, with massive crowds following them and roaring after every shot. And how far behind were they? Did the fans following them care? Did the players behind them get upset - oh yes, sorry, there weren't any players behind? Were the TV networks concerned that coverage would slip past 6pm and mess up their schedules?
Personally, what John Paramor did was wrong. It was, however, 100% right. He has to apply the rules as they stand, which he did. Good for him; bad for the tournament and Harrington.
It is worth noting that being put on the clock did not have the same effect on Tiger. He may have put his drive in the trees but he still walked off 16 with a birdie.
Now it looks like Tiger's to be fined for speaking out about Paramor's intervention. At the British Open he swears and slams clubs; here he speaks up for what he thinks was a poor decision by the officials. Both times he ends up being criticised by a lot of people. It's not easy being Tiger. I'm not the biggest Tiger fan, but I admire him hugely for speaking up:
And I admire Harrington for accepting it all so graciously: