McNamee faces music over scoring debacle
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian Open | Round One | 13 Dec 2007
In what was always going to be a tough examination, Australian Open tournament director, Paul McNamee faced the music at a media conference to describe the breakdown in the scoring system he had been partly responsible for introducing at this year’s Australian Open.
“I would prefer to wait till the end of the day to make a full judgement on it,” said McNamee. “We are disappointed this has happened but things have improved this afternoon. Any time you introduce new technology such as this there are going to be teething problems.”
“I can recall at the Hopman Cup when we introduced the new automated line call system there was a problem as Cedric Pioline had a metal base to his racquet and every time he went to hit a shot close to the line the ball was called out we were forced to close it down but now the Hawkeye system is accepted and is working perfectly.”
“The reason we made the decision to embrace this new technology was that we wanted to make things more interactive and for the people at home and in offices on mobile technology to be able to access the information readily. We are breaking ground with this and we are going through some early problems but we are still very much committed to the ideal of bringing the best and quickest information possible to the public and we think this is the system that can do it. It is the way of the future and in two years it will be common in golf.”
“Today, as this problem developed, we decided to close the PDA system down and use the manual system of scoring with the walking scorers contacting the base by radio rather than by the device. We felt it was better to have no information rather than incorrect information but it seems that things have improved this afternoon.”
There were several in the press conference who were not yet prepared to believe what was being said. The almost unstated feeling was why, on such an important occasion for Australian golf, had there not been more experimentation under the gun so to speak.
While impossible to replicate tournament conditions there must have been the chance to place the system under greater pressure than had clearly been the case in testing.
The system and the concept clearly have merits in this rapidly developing age of bringing more and more information to the consumer but it has made a very shaky and hardly convincing start.