In all, it took Steele’s group about 40 minutes to play the final hole with the delays caused by Palmer. After the tournament was complete, Palmer received a lot of criticism from fans on his Twitter account, enough to inspire a reply from the PGA Tour veteran.
“And for all those questioning the last hole,” Palmer tweeted, “I’ll do it again next week so deal with it. That’s golf.”
One Twitter user commended Palmer for attempting to reach the green from the bunker, but then told him to hit a provisional next time so as not to “screw up the players behind you.”
To that Palmer shot back, “I didn’t hit their shots!!”
Whether or not Palmer showed proper etiquette by forgoing a provisional is up for debate, but his final point is a fair one.
To attribute Steele’s collapse solely to the interminable wait on the 18th hole is unfair, and flies in the face of the facts on the ground. After all, Steele’s game was already showing cracks before the closing hole. His bogey on 17 is what gave his competitors a shot in the first place.
Had he sunk a six-footer for par at 17, he would have avoided a playoff altogether, and no one would be wasting their time scolding Palmer on Twitter.
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