Let’s fine the rules official not the player at the World Golf Championships


I know I’m on holiday this week, so that tells you how incensed I am about the goings on at the sixteenth hole at Firestone on Sunday with John Paramor’s untimely and perhaps ill-considered intervention at a critical time in a thrilling title decider.

Now you know from what I’ve written before that I’m very much against slow play in golf, if for no other reason than that it’s bad golf psychology. You only have to read my earlier article entitled "The fast track to better golf in your unconscious – slow play kills your golf mind" to see why.

Coming back to Sunday, you have to admire Padraig Harrington’s whole approach to the final round and especially the unfairness and ridiculous timing of John Paramor’s intervention. Isn’t it obvious that anytime Tiger’s playing, the size, enthusiasm and rowdiness of his supporters means that his pairing is going to be slower than normal?

You also have to admire Tiger’s very fair comments about the incident as well. And decry the latest news stories that suggest that he’s going to be fined for criticising John Paramor. Now I’m even more incensed! This is going to test my powers of Self Hypnosis for Anger Management!

I know that rules are rules, but commonsense tells us that Tiger and his playing partners are inevitably going to take longer to play every hole. It takes more time for a large gallery to get into position and to quiet down. Given Tiger’s wider appeal, many in his galleries are new to golf and to the etiquette of watching golf quietly and respectfully. That also causes delays.

So although Padraig can be a little slow and deliberate at times, you rarely hear of him being warned for slow play unless he is paired with the likes of a Tiger Woods. Is it fair that he should speed up his play to compensate for Tiger’s gallery and perhaps the inadequacy of the crowd control? Could it be the officials who are at fault rather than the players? I know that criticising sports officials can be seen as sacrilegious, but let’s be fair to a golfer of Padraig’s outstanding ability.

Come on John Paramour, conduct yourself in the manner of a fair and reasonable golfer rather than an over zealous "jobs worth" official. You’ve just ruined what may have been an exciting and memorable finish for the viewing public. Golf should be about enjoyment not petty bureaucracy.


  1. Andrew Fogg says:

    It looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to let this one go. Have a look at this lates article from the New York City News, entitled "Tiger Woods still peeved about warning at Bridgestone Invitational."

    Don’t you just love the bit where they say: “Woods was asked if he regrets mentioning Paramor, whom he said should have "used better judgment," by name.”

    "No," he snapped. "Because he’s the one who did it."

  2. Andrew Fogg says:

    I’ve just seen a report in the Miami Herald that quotes Tiger Woods as saying he will not be fined by the PGA Tour for his comments. So maybe rules aren’t always rules after all!

    Tiger’s also quoted as telling Padraig Harrington, “I’m sorry that John got in the way of a great battle.” In naming John Paramor as the official concerned, Woods is reported as saying, “I thought they would have used better judgment on that considering we were the ones trying to win the golf tournament.”

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