Thursday, March 20, 2008

Some Guys Are Just Slow, Right?

Sean O'Hair had some response to Johnny Miller's counting of his practice strokes at Bay Hill last week, and the criticisms leveled at the PODS the week prior.

"One thing I don't understand is at Tampa, I deserved every single bit of the criticism that I got about my pace of play because I was holding the group up," O'Hair said. "Something people need to understand is that I wasn't in that situation for two years. I was a little bit nervous. There was a lot of things going on in my mind and I'm not going to step over a shot until I'm committed to the shot.

At least he did admit nervousness. That's not necessarily a valid excuse for breaking the rules, but I could have guessed that was the case. After all, JB Holmes said they are playing for a million every week, so he will go as slow as he wants. At least O'Hair was not indignant.

"As far as last week, I actually heard that I was criticized a little bit more than Tampa. The thing I don't understand is that we played the front nine in 1:42. We waited on every single shot on the back nine. So when you're watching the telecast, is he sitting there saying that? No.

No, he didn't say that. They did move through the front side fairly quickly. 1:42 is pretty good for a final round. I think the thing to point out - and what I have been saying - is that slow play is endemic, not isolated. O'Hair's example backs that.

"I mean, to me what does it matter if I take two practice swings or eight practice swings? I do what I have to do to play well. Obviously what I'm doing right now is right. But I think it's a little unfair to criticize somebody about their routine and talk about how slow they are when basically you're waiting on every single shot.

"We waited for almost ten minutes on the 16th tee, and I took eight practice swings because obviously we were just standing there not doing anything. If I walked up to the 16th tee and the fairway was clear, I might have taken two or three practice swings. You know, he can say what he wants to say. I can't control that. But I have a little bit of a problem with criticizing somebody when you're on time."

Overall, a fairly good defense for himself. He could have taken more practice swings in advance of his turn to play. It's ready golf. Good on him, though, to try to explain things in a rational way. May not have been as good as Obama's explanation speech, but it is solid.

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