by Jeff Skinner
In a strange turn of events at The Masters one of the most compelling stories of the day has turned into one of the strangest. Tianlang Guan, the 14 year old wonder child that has captured the hearts of Masters fans around the world was assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play on the 17th hole.
Guan and his group of Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manessero were told of a slow time by long time European Tour rules official John Paramor. As Guan walked down the 17th fairway Paramor approached him and explained that he had recorded a second slow time violation and was therefore penalized one stroke on that hole. So when Guan putted his fourth stroke into the hole it was for a bogey five and not a par.
To Guan’s credit he stayed calm and composed and went on to par the 18th for a three over (including the penalty) 75 to push him to four over par for the tournament.
The cut line is currently at five over and it would be sad if the stroke cost the teenager a chance at playing the weekend.
The talking heads on ESPN and The Golf Channel assure us that Paramour is a well respected rules official but he certainly doesn’t work any PGA Tour events. Once again The Masters shows how different it is from the PGA Tour. Their officials enforce the rules.
I just wonder if it had been Tom Watson of Tiger Woods if there would have been such a ruling enforced.
Anyway, I am hoping Guan can make the cut. He has turned into one of the best stories of the year.