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Torrey Slow Play: What Can Contractless Rules Officials Do?

Jason Sobel talked to Brad Fritsch this week about his group holding up Tiger Woods during the final two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open. Fritsch had this to say:

At the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Tuesday, Fritsch maintained that not only was the threesome never put on the clock, they were never even warned by a PGA Tour rules official.

“Nobody ever even approached us,” he said. “I tell you what, all we ever heard on the Tour was, ‘We’re doing this to you guys now, because it’s worse out there in terms of them getting on you and staying on you.’ We didn’t see anybody all day.”

As you may recall, the rules staff has been working without a contract since the start of the year. And you may also recall Commissioner Tim Finchem gets the willies just thinking about a penalty for slow play, something that has not happened under his reign.

He infamously told John Feinstein:

"Slow play is a legitimate issue," he said, "but not to the point where I think we need to do something like that."

Considering that he's giving himself and his senior executives lavish bonuses and can't afford to take care of the people (outside of the players) most important to running a successful event, the contract situation is embarrassing.

But I also wonder if it's neutering the rules officials to the point that they don't want to upset the apple cart has created a situation where the Commissioner's attitude means they no longer feel empowered to get tough on slow play? I hope not, but it is a danger of letting such a silly contract situation linger, especially as Rules of Golf and slow play issues are such hot topics. Another danger of letting this linger is that the officials could be accused of doing nothing on purpose as a negotiation ploy.

Or as Finchem calls these things, "distractions."

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Reader Comments (6)

Finchy is quickly approaching Goodell and Bettman status...and that's not a good camp to be in...if he tries any harder, he may render his sport obsolete...
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commentergreg c
Today in Phoenix the last group finished 13 holes.
01.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Mashie
The officials need to wALK OFF ON sUPER bOWL sUNDAY, ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE IT ( the day) ALL STARTS, oops...and see how quickly the contracts are settled, or face a riot at the Waste Stop, and Finchem will look like an ass on national TV on the most watched sports day in America.

02.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Mashie, the first round was delayed 70 minutes by frost, so if it wasnt delayed, they would have been close to finishing their rounds.

Also will give Phoenix a little leeway, the commotion on 16, followed up by a driveable 17 with hazards will lead to some delays.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterM
I don't see how allowing slow play would benefit the officials. But then again, I am not that perceptive, I am kinda old school and don't understand how a linebacker at a major college could have a fake girlfriend.
Finchem should be forced to play all of his rounds at the same pace as the Tour guys do.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1

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