Kapalua- Should player have been DQ'd?

Friday, a player was DQ’d after his first round at the season opener for signing an incorect scorecard. He had very apparently brushed a clump of grass out of the path of his ball as it painfully rolled back down to his feet after his chip failed to make it all the way to the green. A television viewer called in the violation and the 2 stroke penalty was charged, unfortunately he had already signed the card.

The violation cited was Rule 23: Loose Impediments. 

“When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed.”

The problem with imposing this rule could be the official definition of “Loose Impediments”

Loose Impediments: "Loose impediments" are natural objects including:

• stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like,

• dung, and
• worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them, provided they are not:
• fixed or growing,
• solidly embedded, or
• adhering to the ball.

Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.

In this case sand and loose soil are not loose impediments, therefore it should have been ok for him to move the grass. 

I am not a rules expert and was hoping someone could clarify why this rule applies in this case. This also opens up the debate “should TV viewers call in rules violations?” Maybe we should just leave it up to the rules officials and the players.

P.S. When responding to this post leave out the players name.

 

When I saw  what this golfer did live I thought to myself, what if the ball rolled back and hit that impediment on the way down.  Didn't think about the DQ at the time but agree with the ruling.  He knows the rules.  It reminded me of another player when she was penalized for grounding her club in a bunker last year. 


I saw this when watching TV and thought to my self that this was a rule violation but nothing was said from the commentators and the game moved on. I think that rule violations should be left up to the players and rule officials. How many instant replays in football have you seen in slow motion on TV that looked obvious that the on the field rule would be over turned but were not using the "Has to be clear cut without a doubt to over turn the on the field ruling". If the public could call in the ruling can you imagine how screwed up televised football games would become. One more thing. It is my opinion that the majority of golfers do not even know the more common rules of golf e.g., the difference between a water hazard and a lateral water hazard, so no, leave the ruling to the players and officials.

I guess the first thing that should be clarified is the definition of "might". I saw the incident on TV and when he brushed the ground his ball was still going up the hill.  Does that mean that you can not do any fairway repair work until after you are sure that the ball has come to rest?   Pace of play?

Most important is that  the ball did not roll over the brushed area.  The question comes down to how vast is the " might area"?

I also wonder if the flexibility of or interpretation of the rule  in question depends on the pro in question.  We have seen bolders moved by 20 people be considered a moveable object.  TV  towers moved.

I go back to the US OPEN and a sand trap with 500 people standing in it, an official on the scene who was unaware that it was a bunker until he was told by another official because they had the advantage of viewing an overview.  Common sense has to come into play.

In addition, officials should not be fearful of using common sense in some of their rulings.

 

 

 

 

As long as grass, twigs, etc. are not attached they are loose impediments.  He broke a rule, which is fine, but the PGA & the USGA really need to come to exist in the century we are in.  Who is hurt by adding two strokes to his score and letting him sign, even AFTER the round has been completed?  Nobody knew about the breach until far after the round, the player included, and any golfer certainly would never want to break any rule or try to cheat the field.  Didn't they step in at the PGA and make sure DJ didn't sign his card?  All of this is unnecessary, a DQ should very rarely happen, especially as it concerns mis-scoring.  Let's go everyone, theRules of Golf are not the Constitution, and should be updated and changed at some point in time.  Not everything in life is Black and White, nor should the Rules of Golf be.  The "traditions" of the game would not be affected at all and everyone could move forward into the century we live.  

I don't think the TOUR should DQ players after a TV viewer calls in a rules violation.  Slap the stroke penalty onto the player, but don't DQ him the next day.

when i was a kid i remember seeing my brother doing something he ought not have been doing.  i immediately ran to my very italian father and informed him of the indiscretion i witnessed.  he confronted my brother, hauled him into his study and administered corporal punishment for said infraction, then found me and hauled me into the study for a dose of the same medicine.  

"...and that's a for telling on a you brother.  we're e-talian, we a no a squeal on a pea-pole.  it's no our biz-a-ness.  understand?"  

the golf course ought to be one place in america where ratting on people to serve a version of the greater good ought not be considered acceptable.  

 

on a separate note, my dad just applied for a job to become a marshall at the local public course.  whistleblowers beware. 

Carl T

I saw this when watching TV and thought to my self that this was a rule violation but nothing was said from the commentators and the game moved on. I think that rule violations should be left up to the players and rule officials. How many instant replays in football have you seen in slow motion on TV that looked obvious that the on the field rule would be over turned but were not using the "Has to be clear cut without a doubt to over turn the on the field ruling". If the public could call in the ruling can you imagine how screwed up televised football games would become. One more thing. It is my opinion that the majority of golfers do not even know the more common rules of golf e.g., the difference between a water hazard and a lateral water hazard, so no, leave the ruling to the players and officials.

 

 

 

i agree with this

I don't know what to think on this ruleing. Half of me wants to say those are the rules but the other half wants to say that was a little harsh (after the scorecard was signed, come on really?). Thats golf for you though. 

No DQ after the tour has accepted the scorecard in the official scorers area. Penalty stroke(s), yes, but not a DQ.

With the advent of the "worldwide watchers (www)" there will need to be some assessment of how TV affects scores. I heard Tim Rosaforte say today that the Golf Channel producer was not originally following Camillo and his group, but had just picked them up one hole before because they wanted to get "non leaders" some TV time. Had TV not been there, we would have had this incident even reported. No players, officials, patrons, or caddies (3 of 4 should know the rules), said anything and play continued.....

Bad for the game to have this stuff happen. It's becoming like the end of race caution flag in NASCAR, the one that bunches up the field to make races more interesting at the end. Both are bad news!

In my opinion...

 

What it really comes down to is that a rule is a rule. It's never, ever, OK to break them. Would he intentionally break a rule? I highly doubt it. He's a great guy and it's unfortunate that something like this would happen to him...happen to anybody. I don't think that it's right that a viewer can call in a rules violation (Where do these "viewers" get the number's to call anyway?). Like another member said; could you imagine other professional/college sports where viewers call in rules violations? If would be mayhem.

I do not believe that the player  should have been DQ'd.  My biggest problem with this is that someone watching at home caused him to be dq'd.  I'm all for a fan calling the enfraction in but only if they get to it during the players round.  Did the player break a rule and deserve to get a penalty, 100%.  But there was the player, caddie, other player and caddie, fans, volunteers and i heard they showed the replay of the shot 3 times on the big screen for the stands and noone caught the infraction.  Im sure no one omitted calling the infarction to be deceitful, they just didn't know a rule had been broken.  Yes the player should know the rules, but lets be realistic they don't and even the rules officials make mistakes.  There needs to be some amendment that allows them to just asses penalty strokes and not dq the player if they find a rule was broken after the card has been signed, and in most cases 2 strokes is a pretty big penalty considering how much money 2 strokes could cost them.

I understand the rule, however I do not understand the rule that DQ's you for the card. He signed in error yes, becuase no one including him or the rules offical noticed a rule infraction. He should not be DQ especially not from a home tv viewer.  Can you imagine somone calling in after the superbowl is over and saying hey, he stepped out of bounce and back in, there fore he cannot be the first person to catch the ball, and then that team getting the superbowl trophy removed and given to the other team. No it wouldnt happen. The penalty stokes shoud be added, only if a rules offical or the player catches the infraction and only on the day of that round. If the round is over and its the next day what happened on the day before should not matter. THE END.

Does anyone have any thoughts on if this is actually a penalty in the rules of golf? 

The problem here is the official definition of "Loose Impediments". Sand and Loose soil are specifically NOT "loose impediments" (except on the green).

I cut and pasted the definition of Loose Impediments into the original post directly from the rulebook.

I do not think Rule 23 can apply here. 

I've always wondered what these rule *** as I call them, people watching tv and taking the time to figure out who and where to call, are thinking.  If the players in the group and the rules official did not catch it it is probably not a big deal.  The issue of incurring a penalty when all the cards are signed is another issue.  If a spectator waited until the next day to claim he saw the winner cheat during the final round would they strip him of his title?  There has to be a statute of limitations.