Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PGA News

Tiger Woods will be fined by the PGA Tour for his public criticism of a rules official after winning the Bridgestone Invitational, a tour official said Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the tour does not publicize fines. 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.

European Tour chief referee John Paramor told Woods and Harrington they were being timed. Woods said he told Harrington after it was over, "I'm sorry that John got in the way of a great battle." Paramor said the final pairing was well behind most of the back nine, but officials gave them time to catch up. They were still 17 minutes out of position on the 16th tee, when they were put on the clock.

"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," Woods said. "But he was on the clock, had to get up there quickly and hit it." Harrington conceded he was rushed, although he said it would be unfair to give the final group preferential treatment.

I agree that Harrington was probably rushed due to the fact that he was just stepping up and hitting his shots quickly from 16 on, like several European players, he tends to take his time before hitting his shots. But I don’t think that is what really lost it for Paddy, I think the fact that Tiger just put a 178 yard 8 iron on foot from the hole on 16 is what flustered Harrington. Tiger had just tightened the screws on Paddy and he was feeling the pressure. Oh well, I just hope Tiger and afford the fine!

This week the last major of the year tees off. The PGA Championship is taking place in Chaska Minnesota at Hazeltine National Golf Club where the previously mentioned Padraig Harrington will be defending his title against the best golfers in the world. In an ironic twist, Harrington will be paired with Tiger again for the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday. So not only will he have the pressure of defending his title and coming of a total implosion on Sunday, he will have to play the first two rounds with Tiger and the circus that follows him.

Of course there are more players that have a chance to win this tournament including my man Phil Mickelson. He is back for a couple of tournements after his wife’s surgery for breast cancer. Phil played last week but was mainly using that tournament as a tune up for the PGA Championship this week. He hadn’t played in six weeks due to his wife’s sugery. From what I can find, Amy Mickelson is doing well after her surgery but I still am not sure what type of surgery she had.

I am looking forward to watching some good golf this weekend and I hope the finish is an exciting one! Coverage begins on Thursday on TNT and moves to CBS on the weekend.

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