Tiger and Padraig Ruined By Clock
By Kickntrue on 8/10/09
Eldrick is not happy that his duel with Padraig Harrington was ruined by Tour official putting them on the clock before the 16th hole.
Woods said the stopwatch led to Harrington rushing his shots, none of them very good.

First came a 5-iron from the right trees that he pulled into the collar of a bunker. Then came a shot from 159 yards that went over the green, followed by the crucial play - a flop shot that came out hot and went into the water.

``He had to get in there quickly and hit it,'' Woods said. ``That was a shot you don't want to get in there quickly and hit. You want to take your time and figure out exactly what you want to do. And I think by rushing like he had to, it forced him to make a couple mistakes.''

Harrington said the trick to being put on the clock is to keep it out of trouble.

He did just the opposite - a tee shot into the trees, the shot into the grassy slope of a bunker, the delicate flop shot to a green running away from him to the water.

``It's an awkward situation,'' he said. ``There are rules, and the players make the rules and we've got to apply them. If you're put on the clock, you always want to be nicely in position so you're not having to think too much. I got out of position with my tee shot, my second shot and my third short. I got out of position and just got myself out of the zone.''
It's a tough situation but I think anything with Tiger involved needs to be carefully evaluated. Padraig is not the fastest player in the world, but having to deal with the crowds around him and Tiger being in the final pairing couldn't have helped things. It just takes time to negotiate people, getting them quiet and getting them out of the way.

I don't think it's fair to say being put on the clock LOST the tourney for Padraig but it certainly couldn't have helped.

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[ comments ]
dlouder says:
"I don't think it's fair to say being put on the clock LOST the tourney for Padraig but it certainly couldn't have helped."
This sentence is exactly what I was going to say... but being you already said it, I'll quote it.
oobscott2 says:
i dont see why they were even put on the clock. they were the last group, and there were only 1 hole behind. Doesn't seem like a big deal to me
it wasnt like they were holding up the whole course, they were the last group!
Kickntrue says:
I don't think anyone has been penalized for 27 years. How serious is actually being put on the clock? I can't imagine CBS cared. They got a tourney to end right at 6pm on the dot catching all of the golf audience and anyone tuning into the news.
ayparekh says:
i read that first its a warning (which they got), then you get fined $5K and a 1 stroke penalty. in this case the 1 stroke penalty wouldnt have hurt them since the group in front was +3 on each of them.
@oobscott2 - unfortunately the final group is also timed so they dont have an advantage on the field in front of them.
Trevor Spring says:
I think they should have both taken the penalty shot, tell the rules official to go grab a drink and take their time. They both had a few clear of the field at that time anyway, just a thought. Well done to Tiger for making a point of it and taking the heat off Paddy.
birdieXris says:
i commented on the other thread too but i still had to say something. I think it's awful that they were put on the clock. i think that's the dumbest thing ever in professional golf. YOu're right when you say it takes time to negotiate people out of the way and get them settled down. That's easily another 5-10 seconds EACH SHOT. These guys are playing for more money each week than these rules officials are gonna see in their lifetime. One shot could be worth $100,000 or more. Day four -- if you're not holding a group up, let the guys play. They were the last group!! i mean, seriously.
bigsexy says:
One of the things I love most about Tiger is his fierce competitive nature. If he is going to win, he wants it to be because he took it, and not because it was handed to him by his opponent. I think he was as upset about that hole as Padraig was because he wanted the "battle" T.C.
Zotisk says:
Personally, I think more pros should be put on the clock, and more penalties should be called. Maybe if the pros could play a round in a decent amount of time, the weekend hackers I get stuck behind would speed up a little...

And the rules of golf are the rules of golf. You don't deserve leeway from the rules because you are the last group or because Tiger has big crowds. Sucks for Padraig that he felt rushed - but you have to play with the hand you are dealt.
cjgiant says:
If I understand, they were still on like a 4 hour pace (i.e. they finished in time for 6pm news). Padraig should have assessed that he should not feel rushed. Regardless, should a group be penalized for not being "as fast as" others, or is there some middle ground of playing at a 12 minute per hole pace?
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