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19th Hole

Ben Crane receives 8-shot penalty for launch monitor stickers

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Ben Crane received an 8-shot penalty at the Web.com Tour’s Alberstsons Boise Open for launch monitor stickers he had on two of his golf clubs.

Technically, Crane received a pair of 4-shot penalties, as he did not discover that he had the stickers on two of his clubs (his driver and his 6-iron) until later in the round. Crane explains in the video below.

Related: The Hottest Launch Monitors of 2017

Let that be a lesson to golfers with access to a launch monitor. If you use stickers, take them off before you play… at least if it’s a competitive round.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Mike

    Oct 2, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Fake news, the stickers mean and effect nothing unless being read by the launch monitor

  2. Webby

    Sep 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    The rules are the rules, Crane should be applauded for notifying the officials; obviously he knew it was a technical illegality.

    Golfers, most of us, are keenly aware of such rules and would rather be penalized for an oversight than to be thought of or accused of cheating.

    Bravo Ben, now get your PGA Tour card back.

  3. John Krug

    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Another reason why golf has declined in popularity.

    • Ron

      Sep 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Ahhh the inevitable comment when there’s any type of technical rules violation. As if one really has to do with the other

  4. Quine Duhem

    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:44 am

    This is proof that the rules of golf need simplifying. In cases such as this where no advantage is gained and where no deliberate attempt to cheat occur, the rules should allow the the officials to waive any penalties. How complicated is that?

  5. Chirpy

    Sep 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    First world problems.

  6. Johnnylongballz

    Sep 17, 2017 at 7:29 am

    The USGA and R&A need to learn how to make the punishment fit the crime. SMH

  7. Chris B

    Sep 17, 2017 at 3:44 am

    It must have given him a massive advantage having those stickers on his club.

  8. Rich

    Sep 16, 2017 at 6:14 am

    When will the madness end. What a stupid ruling/rule. Bad luck Ben Crane.

  9. Rob

    Sep 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Yet ANOTHER reason I sold my GC2 & upgraded to Trackman.

    (And yes, I do play in competitive golf tournaments)

  10. TR1PTIK

    Sep 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Which rule was used to assess the penalty?

  11. Andrew

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

    What’s the difference between stickers and lead tape?

    • Joe Perez

      Sep 18, 2017 at 10:41 am

      I believe it has to do with applying something (the stickers) to the *face* of the club. Lead tape is put on the bottom, back.

  12. Steve

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

    This is bonkers. What in the christ would stickers possibly do to affect a swing during a round?

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19th Hole

Rejoice: Kiradech Aphibarnrat is heading back to the Masters after final-hole heroics

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The Barn Rat is headed back to Augusta National, where he finished tied for 15th in 2016. That’s right, folks, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the so-called Asian John Daly, earned himself a Masters invite with a thrilling final-hole eagle at the Indonesian Masters.

The top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of 2017 will receive ANGC’s famed Masters invites in the mail. The Indonesian Masters is the final OWGR point-earning event of the year. Aphibarnrat was No. 56 entering the tournament, so you get the picture.

Anyway, he needed an eagle at Royale Jakarta Golf Club’s 72nd hole to move far enough up the leaderboard to earn enough OWGR points to slide into the top 50.

You can see the eagle putt (around 10:20 below)

If you’re not happy to see Kiradech in the Masters, you need to familiarize yourself with this Vice Sports short, “30 Pairs of Yeezys and Ferrari,” immediately.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Fans of “Arm” (not sure the origins of that particular nickname)?

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19th Hole

Strokes gained surprise: More distance off the tee doesn’t pay for pros

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Writing for Golf.com, strokes gained inventor/guru, Mark Broadie, filed an interesting (as you would expect) look at driving distance gains on Tour.

No, no, don’t worry. This isn’t a diatribe on the ball going too far, but rather, a look at the players who picked up the most yardage in 2016-2017. Even more interestingly, however, Broadie then examines how the increase in distance translated into a player’s improved performance in strokes gained: off-the-tee…or didn’t as the case seemed to be.

Broadie, “compared driving stats for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, looking at all tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes,” adjusting for course effects. Check out the professor’s chart.

Broadie’s conclusion: “Added distance doesn’t necessarily lead to lower scores, if too much accuracy is sacrificed” (unless you’re Kyle Stanley).

You can check out Broadie’s full piece and explanation for that conclusion here.

By the way, if you’re wondering how Chappell picked up 10 yards off the tee, his coach, Mark Blackburn, told Broadie it was

“A perfect storm of equipment, ball and a swing change,” Blackburn replied. “He switched drivers, changed to a less ‘spinny’ ball, and lengthened his swing. More hip turn around the trail leg allowed him to load more efficiently and then explode into his lead leg.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

And if you’re wondering about the equipment in question, here’s Chappell’s WITB. He switched to a 2016 TaylorMade M1 from a Nike Vapor Flex 440, it seems, but was pictured most recently with a 2017 M1.

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods’ extreme competitiveness, not surprisingly, extends to H-O-R-S-E

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Tiger Woods is competitive. Tiger Woods doesn’t like to be beaten at anything. These are eternal truisms in the Tiger Woods story.

If you play the 14-time major champion in, say, ping pong, don’t expect to win. If you face off against the 79-time PGA Tour winner, however, if you have the skills of Air Joe LaCava, you could notch a victory, or nine, but don’t expect it to sit well with the Big Cat. And certainly don’t expect him to feed you!

Here’s what happened, according to Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, who recently appeared on the “Inside the Ropes” podcast on Sirius XM.

Squaring off in everyone’s favorite equine-named playground game, LaCava beat Woods in nine straight games of H-O-R-S-E. La Cava, reportedly, relied on a smooth mid-range game to take down Tiger, who was jacking up threes.

“He did not talk to me the rest of the day. I didn’t even get the old text, ‘Dinner is ready,’ because I stay across at the beach house. I didn’t even get that text that night. I had to get takeout,” LaCava said. “He didn’t announce he wasn’t [talking to me], he just didn’t. And I’m telling you, it was nine games in a row. I’m telling you, he’s so competitive, even at something like that.”

Cold. But would you expect anything less? You don’t win the U.S. Open on one good leg in excruciating pain fueled by an average blend of competitive juices. In fact, if we learned Woods had softened in his old age and, say, let LaCava win, that’d be serious cause for concern.

Check out the clip below.

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