Nobody can say golf is without drama. Especially after yesterday’s ending to the Bridgestone Invitational. Who should have won and who won the event was decided fairly under the conditions of the score, but unfairly on what caused the scoring. What would have the outcome been if the PGA has had an official who was really with the program/ We will not know.
I read where some of my peers are saying it was right that Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington be put on the clock on the 16th tee box. I can agree with them that the rules are the rules, but will not agree with them on the rules officials decision.
It seems some of my peers must have been out getting a cold one when the network cameras were cut to commercial on the ten hole where the slow down began that Tiger and Paddy got hammer for on the 16th tee. Seems even Tiger had to take a drink of water while waiting for all of the photographers that were flooding in from around the course to finish literally fighting for positions to take photos.
Compound that commotion with the gallery shouting at the photographers for standing in their way..and all the time the clock just kept ticking away. Two times Paddy had to back off to keep from hitting a photographer running across the fairway….
So, I am for once with Tiger on saying it was uncalled for. I understand the rule and these guys who play the top golf of the world understand the rules. But in this case it was clearly a rules official call and he should have discounted the time for things out of Tiger and Paddy’s control. These were hindering them from playing the game in a timely manor.
In my book it cost Paddy the event and for golfers it kept them from maybe seeing a playoff of two very good golfers. The decision was not good for golf. If it was a deal where either of these guys were out there doing the Furyk shuffle putting routine or the Garcia regriping ten times method of insanity, then yes..throw the book at them.
But when you got two guys wringing in sweat from nearly running down the fairway stay away for the photographers and then putting them on the clock for pace of play was just bad judgment under the circumstances.
In talking to some of the marketing people I know who sell TV ads for the networks, they know that some of the decision to put the group on the clock could have been sponsor driven. They may have wanted to move the players along so the sponsors would not have to pay the extra cost if the event goes into Prime Time. OR pay back the sponsors of the program the PGA event ran over into.
To me, that is the Rub of the Green for the sponsors. They are paying for the event to be played out under normal conditions..hurrying so they don’t have to pay more does not help viewers see more golf or for them to sell more tires on TV.
These kind of decisions that are not based on the circumstances need to be stopped. What has to be done is more control needs to be put into place of the galleries and more specifically the Photographers and media from holding up the play of the game.
As more and more of these events fold up due to sponsorship not renewing their sponsorships more of these photographers who make their living at these events are going to start crowding to what events are left. If the controls are not made, then here is another problem out of control of golf that is going to fight against golf’s survival.
I am a golf fan, not a Tiger fan or a Paddy fan..because these are just two of the hundreds who play golf for a living for us to see how golf is played by the best in the world. I hate to see these guys not allowed to play the game they can play because the sponsor wants them to make it to the clubhouse on a timeline. Or lose golf for ever from the photographers need a better angle for the shot that just so happens to be in front of the hundreds of golfers who paid a ticket to see these golfers. You think those golfers standing behind those photographers are coming back to another PGA Event…I would not blame them.
Hope this does not happen again, but I am afraid it will. Let’s see how golf survives.