Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Woods criticizes Firestone officials over clock ruling

REUTERS , AKRON, OHIO

Tiger Woods of the US plays an approach shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Tiger Woods criticized rules officials at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday after he overhauled Irishman Padraig Harrington to win the elite tournament for a record seventh time.

The American world No. 1 effectively sealed victory with a birdie at the par-five 16th, where he struck a superb eight-iron to a foot after he and Harrington had been put on the clock for slow play.

Harrington’s bid for a first title in 12 months on either the PGA or European tours unraveled on that hole as he ran up an ugly triple-bogey eight after hitting his fourth shot into water.

Woods slammed European Tour chief referee John Paramor for his decision to put them on the clock.

“I’m sorry that John got in the way of a great battle because it was such a great battle for 16 holes,” Woods told reporters after clinching his 70th PGA Tour victory by four shots. “We’re going at it head-to-head, and unfortunately that happened. I think being on the clock influenced him.”

While on the clock, players must play their shots within an allocated time or risk an initial warning followed by a US$5,000 fine and a one-shot penalty for a second offense.

PGA Tour rules official Slugger White supported Paramor.

“I don’t think John did get in the middle of it,” he said. “John is doing his job ... It’s just a regulation, guys. That’s what it amounts to.”

■RENO-TAHOE OPEN

REUTERS, LOS ANGELES

American John Rollins survived a topsy-turvy final round to win the Reno-Tahoe Open by three shots in Nevada on Sunday.

Four ahead of the chasing pack overnight at Montreux Golf and Country Club, Rollins carded a level-par 72 for a 17-under total of 271. Britain’s Martin Laird closed with a 69 to share second place with American Jeff Quinney.

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