Where's that debris caution when we need it?

WGC-Cadillac Championship pin flag
Getty Images
The pin flags could come into play a lot more if golf went to NASCAR-style cautions.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 | 5:17 p.m.

So we're sitting here watching Tiger at Doral and occasionally flipping over to the NASCAR race in Las Vegas. Tiger was ahead by five at the turn at Doral and in Vegas the field was all strung out, so there wasn't much drama at either venue.

NASCAR, as it so often does when things get boring, threw a caution for ''debris on the track.'' This allowed the safety crew to corral that oh-so-dangerous hot dog wrapper or whatever. But more important, it also bunched up the field and got a lot of popular drivers who were way behind back into contention.

And it made us wonder – why doesn't golf have its own version of a debris caution? Take today – Tiger's out of sight with nine holes to go. Surely there's a hot dog wrapper blowing around somewhere at Doral. Tour official Slugger White could call a timeout to fetch it and, oh by the way, bunch the field up. During the brief timeout, the players could check their spikes, clean the dirt out of their grooves, maybe even take a swig of Gatorade.

Then, when they resume play, the field bunches up behind Tiger – instead of cruising by five, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell are just one back. Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott are two behind and Sergio Garcia trails by three. Slugger waves the green pin-flag, and off they go – and, voila, we've got a brand-new horserace.

Heck, if that works out, why not try another of NASCAR's concoctions – the green-white-checker finish? Throw another yellow pin-flag with a few holes to go, give everybody the same score, set them off on the 17th tee with two holes to see who wins.

It's genius, don’t you think?

What, you don't agree. Well, honestly, me neither.

Tiger running away from the field might not be ''dramatic,'' but it is still great to watch, and I suspect the TV ratings will reflect that. Plus, he's justly rewarded for his stellar play throughout the tournament – and, we all know, every stroke counts, no matter whether it occurred Thursday morning or Sunday afternoon. It's just one of the many reasons why we all love golf – even when the final outcome is clear well before the checkered flag flies.