Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Being Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has been fined for making a rather supportive statement about the game of his competition during the Bridgestone Invitational. He broke the rules by speaking publicly against a call made by the referee in support of his competitor, even though he had won the tournament.

According to an article by the Associated Press after Woods and Paddington were timed by the chief European referee, John Paramor, Woods "was bothered after his four-shot victory Sunday because he and Padraig Harrington were put on the clock at the par-5 16th. He said that caused Harrington to rush three difficult shots, leading to triple bogey."

Woods told Harrington after the match, "I'm sorry that John got in the way of a great battle." Woods, the winner, wanted a fair match. He said, "I don't think that Paddy would have hit the pitch shot that way if he was able to take his time, look at it, analyze it. But he was on the clock, had to get up there quickly and hit it.
Harrington conceded he was rushed. Because Woods made this last statement publicly the PGA fined him.

According to the rules of the GPA players handbook, you can't criticize an official publicly. I must say that if I had to be fined, this is one way that would be acceptable. Woods may have broken the rules, but he did not do so out of some egotistical romp or in defense of himself. He did so rather gentlemanly in defense of his opponent. Wood is not known as a rabble-rouser or for breaking rules. But I guess this is why it is said that rules are meant to be broken.


Bob said...

Woods was acting in the best tradition of sportsmanship. It was reminiscent of his parallel champ, Roger Federer.

Two years ago Federer won his Wimbledon semi-final match, while the other semi, between Roddick and I-forget-who, was delayed by rain. Federer was asked if it wouldn't be good if that match was carried over to Saturday, so his opponent in the final would be going with one day's rest instead of the customary two.

Roger replied that he hoped that wouldn't happen, so that both finalists would be well rested, not just him.

And there's no doubt that Federer meant it.

Judith Ellis said...

That's a good story too, Bob. I had not heard about that one. Thank you. I also read recently that Woods wasn't fined. Hmm? I wonder how that initial story got out. Could it be possible that the PGA realized the foolishness of the fine?