With all the drama going on off the course this week it's a a little difficult to believe that the players at this week's PGA Championship have total focus on the mission at hand. The aftermath of the Tiger & Paddy ruling debacle has pushed the PGA Tour into an unplayable lie from which they have no idea of their options.
Let's first set the stage: At a critical moment of Sunday's final round – the 16th hole with Paddy in the lead by one – rules official john Paramor tells them they are on the clock. Paddy speeds us (translation: gets out his normal rhythm), makes an 8 and looses the tournament. In the post-round press conference Tiger calls the action of the official into question by saying, “I’m sorry that John got in the way of a great battle.” On Monday an anonymous PGA Tour official told the AP that Tiger would be fined. Understand that anything to do with player discipline on the PGA Tour is done with anonymity and a certain amount of cloak and dagger. Now on Tuesday the PGA Tour says there is no fine. Tiger reported, “I’ve heard from the tour and there’s no fine. That was an erroneous report.”
So now, what has the PGA Tour wrought. Actually they have wrought rot. Did they back off because it was Tiger Woods? Perhaps. They sure don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. (This is an example of ironic reversal.) What if the PGA Tour really ticked off Tiger and he decided to take his game elsewhere? Go ahead and speculate on that scenario if you so desire.
But what if the finegate was generated by a giant lack of communication or worse yet total incompetence? That is a possibility. First an anonymous PGA Tour person says there will be a fine for Tiger and then within twenty-four hours Ty Votaw, PGA Tour V-P of Something, makes the following statement, “The information that was conveyed to the reporter was inaccurate. There has been no process started with respect to any disciplinary action. Based on the reports we have read, Tiger’s comments related to the impact of the decision. We did not read them as being an unreasonable attack or disparaging.”
Ta-da, there you have it. With an incredible amount of backspin, Votaw has done away with finegate.