Why the diff??? An oversight?
Someone high up in the golfing world explained to us that the premise of the game is to get the ball in the hole, not close to the pin.
I can see that calling it closest to the hole is a must. If someone wanted to be technical about it then a shot on an uphill slope that is 3 feet from the CENTER of the hole could in actuality be less than 3 feet from the center of the Pin.