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Rules-related drama comes to the Presidents Cup

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The rules infraction score for the Presidents Cup currently stands at 1-1.

Rather than making a joke about how the International side’s superior performance on that scoreboard, as compared to the official point tally, let’s get to the infractions.

During Friday four-ball play, Anirban Lahiri practiced a bunker shot after his side conceded a hole. While putting after concession is permissible, practice shots are not. Thus, Lahiri was disqualified from the next hole (as the hole where the infraction occurred was already completing), leaving partner Charl Schwartzel alone for the team’s third hole.

Saturday’s four-ball matches saw the United States side incur a penalty of its own. Unfortunately, Jordan Spieth, who already suffered the indignity of a whiff this week, has a penalty to add to his list of Presidents Cup accomplishments.

Spieth and Patrick Reed were facing Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen. At the par-4 12th, with the teams all square, Oosthuizen attempted an eagle putt. The ball cruised past the hole. Jason Day had already carded a birdie at that point, so Oosthuizen’s birdie putt was ultimately going to be meaningless. Thus, Jordan Spieth picked up the ball using his putter…while it was still moving.

Spieth’s stoppage of the ball, however, was a violation of Rule 1-2, which reads in part, a player “must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play.”

So, while the putt was meaningless, Spieth broke a rule. The penalty for influencing an opponent’s ball? Loss of hole. Thus, Spieth was out of the hole and was unable to attempt his putt to halve the hole and the Internationals claimed it to move to 1 up.

Here’s the infraction.

Fortunately for the U.S. side, the penalty didn’t doom the duo; Spieth and Reed would go on to win the match 2&1.

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19th Hole

ATV-riding vandals wrecked a golf course; county offers reward for information leading to arrest

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Vandals on a pair of ATVs began tearing up Putnam County Golf Course December 30, damaging both fairways and greens. Per a lowhud.com report, the clowns have returned to the New York course at least three times this month.

As you may have guessed from its name, Putnam County Golf Course is a municipal track, so taxpayers are stuck with the bill for course repairs.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell told lohud.com, “The Putnam County Golf Course has been a premier destination in the Hudson Valley with its lush greens at public prices. We cannot allow individuals to misuse the golf course at the expense of the taxpayers.”

As such, the county is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of these idiots.

Anyone with information can call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300 and the Carmel police at 845-628-1300.

Hudson Valley GolfWRX members, let’s bring these ATV-riding a-holes to justice.

(h/t Kevin Cunningham, Golf.com)

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Curtis Strange didn’t like Jon Rahm’s behavior during CareerBuilder playoff. Is he right?

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Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry filled their plates at the birdie buffet CareerBuilder Challenge to each finish at 22 under par. The pair battled in a four-hole playoff, with Rahm emerging victorious.

Good stuff if you like watching pros pencil circles on their scorecards, right? Not for Curtis Strange. The two-time U.S. Open winner didn’t like the pair’s chumminess between shots during the playoff, and he did what angry people do in the year 2018: He tweeted about it.

Hat tip to Alex Myers at Golf Digest for spotting this (as one Twitter user commented) “get off my lawn take” from Mr. Strange.

Here’s Strange’s dad tweets, curious punctuation and all, as well as a sampling of some of the replies.

So, what say you, GolfWRX members of all generations?

Plenty have maligned the friendliness of the current crop of young talent. Rahm, for his part, has been characterized as more of a volcano than a gentle breeze on the course in general, but this specific bit of chatter is doubtless bothersome to the old-school hardline set.

Clearly, Rahm wasn’t adversely affected by the dialogue. Was Landry? Was your enjoyment of the telecast affected? Let us know.

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19th Hole

Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?

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Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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