Whos to blame for slow play


Tiger Woods was right.

It’s unfortunate rules official John Paramor “got in the way of a great battle” Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Padraig Harrington was right.

Harrington clearly got himself “out of the zone” after being put on the clock at the 16th hole, where he made triple bogey.

Harrington also was right in saying officials can’t hold the groups in front of the leaders to a different standard than the leaders.

Paramor was right to enforce slow-play rules. Slow play is the scourge of golf.

So who’s wrong here?

Or, better yet, what’s wrong here?

Maybe it’s the fact that there’s no discretion written in the rule, but rules officials use discretion all the time anyway. How else do you explain that nobody on the PGA Tour, according to the Associated Press, has actually been assessed a penalty shot for slow play since Dillard Pruitt in 1982. That fact is evidence that rules officials use discretion liberally, or we would have seen more penalties, or at least more slow play controversies like Sunday’s.

The PGA Tour and the other WGC governing bodies need to get their acts together and write a better rule, one that rules officials know how to enforce and players can understand. Mostly, they need a rule that doesn’t destroy great drama and theater. That’s what happened Sunday.