Well, Padraig Harrington had the Bridgestone World thing in hand, a stroke in the lead and Tiger Woods in retreat. Then came the 16th Hell Hole at Firestone in Akron. Now, here’s where the report came across on CBS that a tour official had, as they say, “put the Woods-Harrington pairing on the clock,” meaning that they were behind their ascribed schedule.
This is where, according to CBS reports, Woods hit out of turn, presumably to assuage the official. And when Harrington, playing as if his bag were on fire, struck the hasty shot that triggered his downfall. Woods’ third shot was dead on the pin and this is where Harrington began digging his own grave. Woods birdied, Harrington triple-bogeyed and the game was over.
Now, did the official’s warning have any effect? Was Harrington rushed? Was any of this published in the Associated Press report? Whatever the case, Harrington dropped out of sight, all the way back into a tie for second. It’s a puzzling turn that did have an effect on the leading twosome, and which brings up the question: If it’s the leading twosome, and all other contenders are off the course, then what kind of effect can they be having on the rest of the field? On television, perhaps, though the TV cast didn’t appear to be disturbed. This is a course that Woods “owns.” He had won six times there. He was on his way to winning again, it appeared, but what brainless official has the audacity to “put them on the clock?”
In the course of it, we saw another crash of the “broomstick” putter. Tim Clark-whose putter is almost as tall as he- went out in the featured pairing Saturday and swept himself right out of it. He made some of the most wretched putting strokes you can imagine, and in the process, suffered a two-stroke penalty. Over and out. I’m with Tom Watson. Ban the broomstick. It’s not intended to be a part of golf. If you can’t play the game with the tools of tradition, switch to cricket. You see what it did for Stewart Cink. He went back to the putter of regular length, and he wins the British Open. Oops, bad news for Watson. He was the victim.
And, in passing, can’t golf come up with some Good Housekeeping TV sponsors, more acceptable in the parlor than Cialis? Look, if you can’t get it up, as they say, don’t bring your troubles to my screen.