John Paramor was a point of reference in the world of golf.
John Paramor, history
Some of St Andrew’s “judgments” derive from the application of some of his most famous “rulings”. Unfortunately it has to be said that the only truly unjust sentence was that of his premature death at the age of 67, after a life of refereeing on golf courses two years after his retirement.
He was known on every circuit in the world, having umpired in dozens of major leagues. “One of the best golf umpires of all time,” Tiger Woods said on Friday. “ I already remember it from when I turned professional as an institution, obviously on the European Tour, but also on all the world tournaments” This is one of his most famous sentences which involved Severiano Ballesteros.
Paramor once said that he gave Ballesteros a “favorable ruling” that he might not have given to other players, just because of the Spaniard’s great “creativity”. One of the most famous cases was that of 1994 at the end of the season Volvo Masters in Valderrama.
Ballesteros was under a tree and thought he might take advantage of a small hole that the Spaniard claimed had been made by a burrowing animal.
“One, it was questionable. And two, I couldn’t find any evidence of what he was saying. He had to prove it,” Paramor recalled years later. “Either way, there was a small hole inside the hole. When I went to stick my finger in the small hole to see what was in there, Seve put a hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Be careful, he might bite.’
“I almost started giggling,” Paramor said. “It might be intimidating, but I want to forget what you said” The benefit of the rule was denied. It was also ‘JP’ (as he was called) who advised McIlroy that he had not taken full relief when he found himself playing a stroke with part of his foot still inside the crossing point of a hole in Abu Dhabi in 2014.
The penalty was two strokes, in a tournament which saw McIlroy finish second by one . That particular incident later became the answer to the quiz: “What was the tournament in which McIlroy had the lowest low score without winning?”
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