The Loop

Remember this? 'Harrington...the slowest player on tour'

August 11, 2009

The bulk of the discussion on the slow-play fracas that evolved in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday centers around Tiger Woods' criticism of the rules official for, well, for enforcing the rules.

It should be noted that this was less an aberration on Padraig Harrington's part than a historical pattern.

In 2003, John Huggan in Golf Digest wrote this about Harrington:

"The most persistent criticism of Harrington has related to his pace of play. Depending on your point of view, he is either slow, very slow or a man who takes an hour and a half to watch '60 Minutes.'

"'He's very underrated, and he can win anywhere, but he is a little slow,' says Paul Azinger. 'I think that hurts him in the majors, where officials tend to get on you about it.'"

In 2002, Retief Goosen was widely quoted calling Harrington "definitely the slowest player on the tour."

"At every level of the game, slow play is a scourge. It's a pox. It's an ugly, oozing sore. Everyone who plays golf has slammed up against it. A good many have been driven away by it.

"Bernhard Langer, Padraig Harrington and the ironically named Niclas Fasth prove slow play isn't an All-American malady..."

You know what they say: The weather is like slow play; everyone complains about it, but no one does anything about it.

Well, the rules official John Paramor did something about it. He brought some sunlight to the game's "ugly oozing sore." And for that, we thank him.

-- John Strege