Golf to ignore the rule officials watching at home on TV

Dec 13, 2017, 05:08
Golf to ignore the rule officials watching at home on TV

The decision comes after Lexi Thompson was penalized during the final round of the ANA Inspiration after officials declared a penalty for a rules infraction from the previous day that had been called in by a TV viewer, The Kansas City Star said.

The governing bodies announced that they will no longer accept calls and emails from fans who claim to have spotted rules violations while watching the game on TV, Golf Week reported. Rather, it was the additional two strokes Thompson had to add to her Saturday score because she had failed to account for the original penalty in the first place.

From January 1st, 2018, the tour bodies have chose to assign officials to monitor video broadcasts of a tournament to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arise; and to discontinue any steps to "facilitate or consider viewer call-ins" as any part of the rules decision process.

Thompson went on to lose the tournament in the playoffs and the incident caused massive outcry.

Because of the unpopularity around the PGA and LPGA tours, the USGA relaxed the rule to only be enforced on plays that could be discovered only through deep video investigation.

Players no longer will be penalized two shots for an incorrect scorecard if they were not aware of a rules violation when they signed their card.

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It cost Thompson a major championship and attracted widespread condemnation from several figures in the golfing community, who called for a change to the rules.

David Rickman, Executive Director - Governance at The R&A, said, "This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019". Only video from a tournament's "broadcast partner" will be eligible for review in most cases, not video "from an individual's camera, smartphone or similar device".

"The committee (at each tournament) will take on the responsibility of monitoring in real time", Thomas Pagel, the USGA senior director of Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, told Golf World.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

In April, a decision was issued to limit the use of video through the introduction of a "reasonable judgement" standard and a "naked eye" standard.

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