by Jeff Skinner
As the golf world recoils from the shocking slow play penalty called on a young Tianlang Guan at The Masters a few things are abundantly clear.
First and most evident after all the screaming and protesting settled is that Tianlang Guan, a fourteen year old child in a field of powerful men, is an amazing young man.
It isn’t just his skill with a golf club that separates this youngster from the crowd but his class, dignity and temperament. He spoke no ill or offered any excuses at the slow play penalty that threatened to send him home early from The Masters but instead said, “I respect the decision.”
All of us, especially the spoiled professional athletes in all sports, can learn from this teenager on how to accept responsibility without protests or wondering “why me.” No matter where he finishes, thankfully he made the cut, Guan will long be remembered for his stellar play and more importantly his poise and maturity.
So this is certainly not the PGA Tour. Slow play is tolerated and almost encouraged each week on the regular PGA Tour stops. With no one, not the commissioner or the rules officials willing to assess a stroke penalty to the regular PGA players, slow play has become accepted and is a running joke on the tour.
This once again proves how special The Masters is. Forget the Augusta National, the Champions Dinner, the Honorary Starters and the pimento cheese sandwiches…they call slow play penalties at The Masters! Could this tournament be any more different from the PGA Tour? I think not.
And finally, could we somehow steal Mr. John Paramor from the European Tour and put him in charge of the rules officials on The PGA Tour. He’s the man that assessed Guan the slow play penalty and he’s the same official that put Paddy Harrington on the clock at the WGC when Tiger got so aggravated and Paddy threw up on himself. Maybe there is a solution to slow play on the PGA tour, it’s John Paramor.