Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Golf to ignore the rule officials watching at home on TV

Golf to ignore the rule officials watching at home on TV

David Rickman, the R&A's senior rules official, 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".

Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, says that the Local Rule, which goes into effect January 1, will be adopted by all the major men's and women's professional tours around the world.

At the 2017 ANA Inspiration, a tearful Lexi Thomas was hit with a four-stroke penalty after a TV viewer phoned in a rules violation. "Essentially, everything you're seeing at home, we've already seen it".

"The message we're putting out to fans is, What you've seen, we've seen".

So while many fans will be upset that they can't have some sort of outcome on live golf events, this seems like a much better solution for the players.

Thompson was informed of her fate by a rules official at the 12th hole, just what she needed after posting a bogey.

Attention all armchair golf rules officials who study video replay in search of infractions: your dedication to your craft is impressive.

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In addition, golf's rule-making bodies have approved the adoption of a local rule (from January 1st, 2018) to eliminate the additional two stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the score card when the player is unaware of the penalty.

The tournament's criminal justice system duly clunked into gear imposing a two-shot penalty for the offence and a further two shots for the scorecard signed 24 hours earlier and now rendered incorrect.

The severity of that ruling was compounded by the awkwardness of its timing: though the initial infraction took place during the third round, Thompson wasn't penalized until more than midway through the final round, after a viewer emailed the LPGA, pointing out the breach.

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

The working group is made up of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European Tour, LET and The PGA of America, the R&A and USGA.

The Telegraph noted that Padraig Harrington, Camilo Villegas and Tiger Woods had all fallen victim to the calls of sharp-eyed viewers who brought up violations that may have gone unnoticed.

Video review will be limited to material obtained from the committee's broadcast partner. Other video, such as from an individual's smartphone or camera, will not be used under these protocols.

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