US Open champion Graeme McDowell has become the latest high profile player to get embroiled in Harrington-gate – after almost falling foul of TV evidence himself.
According to the Scottish Daily Record, McDowell was left raging after Padraig Harrington had been disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Championship for unknowingly signing for an incorrect score. Harrington had inadvertently brushed his golf ball with his hand when picking up his marker at the seventh hole during his first round.
At the time no-one had spotted the incident, and it wasn’t until later that a TV viewer had emailed into European Tour officials that the incident came to light, and Harrington was subsequently disqualified.
But McDowell has rounded on those people who he claims are making a mockery of the game and labelled them as ‘anoraks’.
The Northern Irishman said: “Anoraks! Too much time on their hands. It makes a mockery of the game when we are penalising players for something as crazy as that.
“TV viewers are important to us. High-definition, 3D and slow-mo add to the experience of watching golf on TV. But some of the fiddly, pernickety, stupid little rules need to be looked at.”
McDowell revealed in a Guardian article that a viewer had also emailed in to complain about the US Open champion’s own brush with the laws. The viewer had complained McDowell had moved the ball with his club on the 18th hole of his final round, but after investigation by Tour officials, the claim was thrown out.
However, the incident casts further shadow on the use of TV evidence to disqualify players based on the judgement of armchair fans.
Perhaps Vincent Hogan in the Irish Independant sums it up best in his article published Monday about the whole rules debacle, which you can read here.
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