On the 16th hole during the final round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington were put on the clock apparently due to slow play. They were 17 minutes out of position. Again, though, we are talking about the final pairing of the day and about the only group the television cameras were on anyways. And its not like Tiger Woods and Padraig are looking at their watches either.
Well, Tiger Woods after shaking hands with Padraig on 18 said:
I’m sorry that John got in the way of a great battle
Tiger then also made a comment about being put on the clock inside his final round interview.
Well, Section VI-D in the PGA Tour’s player handbook says, “It is an obligation of membership to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage tournaments, sponsors, fellow members, players, or PGA Tour.”
Honestly, I don’t think Tiger was in the wrong here. He didn’t put down “John”, the rules official. He didn’t disparage the man. Tiger only offered an opinion that he and Padraig had a great battle going down to the wire, and when a rules official stepped in to, in my opinion unnecessarily put them on the clock, it rushed the players causing mistakes to happen. One of those mistakes happen to cause Padraig to make some poor swings that cost him the tournament.
The fact that Woods was fined an undisclosed amount regarding this is completely asinine.
Trying to plays devil advocate, I do understand the need to treat all players fairly because if some other group was 17 minutes off the clock, it would affect the entire field. What bothers me about this whole thing is the fact Tiger was fined for his comment.
I think I got a B in math in high school, but if I add all this up correctly…why fine the 1 player that happens to bring you in the most money? Here is the breakdown:
- Tiger enters tournament
- Sponsors jump for joy, television producers drool at the mouth, tournament officials go crazy
- Tiger is somewhere near the lead the first couple of days, television ratings spike…more money lines sponsors/producers pockets
- Tiger is in the final round pairing…wire to wire, ratings spike more, drool coats producers desk, sponsors pass out of excitement
- Hrm…. tournament is running longer then expected, CSI Miami might have to start a few minutes later..we are talking Tiger Woods here
- Put them boys on the clock…we need our CSI Miami
- “What did Tiger just say”? He is upset they were rushed? How much money did we just make when Tiger hit that 180 yard 8-iron to 5 inches?
- Screw it, fine Tiger…he has enough money.
- 1 year goes by.
- “What, Tiger pulled out of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational…but why?”
That sounds about right.