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19th Hole

Another rules incident for Lexi Thompson

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For Lexi Thompson and the LPGA Tour, the day they hoped would never come has arrived. Lexi Thompson made a rules blunder and nearly signed for an incorrect scorecard for her second round of play at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Details are scant, but based on a report from Keeley Levins at Golf Digest, it seems Thompson’s ball came to rest near an advertising sign at the 15th hole. Believing the sign was a moveable obstruction, Thompson moved the sign. And, well, you know where this is going. The sign was an immovable obstruction. It’s unclear who Thompson consulted before making her decision, but it doesn’t appear she sought out a rules official.

Unaware that she was in violation, Thompson was told of the two-stroke penalty while she was in the scorers’ tent. After the rules official’s intercession, Thompson signed for a second-round 68, rather than 66.

The LPGA issued this statement

“During the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand, Lexi Thompson incurred a two-stroke penalty on hole 15 for breach of the Local Rule regarding temporary immovable obstructions as prescribed in Appendix 1. The Supplementary Rules of Play for the Honda LPGA Thailand state that advertising boards are temporary immovable obstructions.”

Now, opinions on what befell Thompson at the 2017 Ana Inspiration range from “she was a victim” to “her cavalier ballmarking finally caught up with her.” Regardless of where you sit in that continuum, you’d have to expect Lexi Thompson would be calling in a rules official in any potentially dubious situation, or at the very least, giving the local rules a close read.

Ultimately, you’d have to think the takesmiths will remain largely entrenched in their post-Ana rules fiasco positions on this one. What say you, GolfWRX members?

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  1. Ky McCarthy

    Feb 26, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Let the damn advertising signs out of the field of play! Period! If they aren’t an integral part of the course they’re moveable. Play the course as it lies and that doesn’t include advertising signs. It’s great to have sponsors but don’t allow them to dictate what is and isn’t the golf course!!!

  2. Don O

    Feb 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

    I’m still livid from last year – but this time, yea, Lexi or her caddie should have known the local rules. She is playing professionally and the sponsors pay the freight, how dumb the rule was is not the issue.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 26, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Why are you livid from last year?

  3. Gorden

    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Simple the sign was paid for and owned the spot it stood on….Lexi and the girls are only out there playing because sponsors are paying for them to be there….with out sponsors Lexi and the girls would be paying green fees and buying drinks from the drink cart like the rest of us….

  4. Lexi please read the rules

    Feb 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Can somebody tell me what a catch is in the NFL?!?!?!

  5. Scott

    Feb 24, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Don’t know her from a hole in wall but…cheat in golf cheat in life right?

  6. Stephen Finley

    Feb 24, 2018 at 1:03 am

    The first incident (last year) was really a bit of a whine, then the whole hero-treatment thing. It was a weird mixed bag. She _did_ violate the rule, and pretty much 100% of the usual “stupid rule anyway, golf and its rules are stupid” talk that followed was as worthless, dumb, and clueless as it always is. But it _is_ true that what she did after that incident in that round was as amazing a display of a player getting herself back together as I’ve ever seen, man or woman. But ever since then, she can’t be on the screen three seconds before some announcer brings it up again. She seemed at times to waver about whether to play along with the “poor Lexi” talk — nothing even _close_ to Dustin Johnson’s “poor me” thing after the PGA at Whistling Straits — and it would’ve been better to see her insist on nobody saying a single word along those lines, but in the end she came down (I think, anyway) on the side of “it was my bad, I took the hit, now everybody move on.”

    The gold standard, of course, is always going to be Bobby Jones’ statement after calling a penalty on himself led to not only the loss of a tournament but mountains of hero talk and “poor Bobby” fawning: “You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.” _That’s_ how you do it.

    Anyway…this latest incident is a little different. It’s true that they get rules sheets, and it’s likely the sign was covered. If not, that’s a different story. But even beyond that consideration, it _does_ seem substantively wrong to hit somebody for moving an “immovable” obstruction that was clearly movable, since this young woman moved the damn thing.

    Still, a rule is a rule, and if it was identified as immovable, even nonsensically and arbitrarily, you have to treat it as such. People are really losing touch with why the rules are what they are, and what it means about the character of the game and the people who play it for them to be that way. I have to think the addition of millions of “fans” (and their money) who come from other pro sports (or who came strictly because of Tiger Woods’ celebrity) and expect the same kind of atmosphere, approach to the rules, officiating, etc. That may be great for tour players’ bank accounts, but it’s not good for the game. At all.

    • Bobdobalino

      Feb 26, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      You Say “It’s true that they get rules sheets, and it’s likely the sign was covered. If not, that’s a different story”.
      It must have been covered otherwise it is deemed to be an immoveable or moveable obstruction depending on whether it can be moved without unreasonable effort. She would not have got the penalty.
      Then again if it were deemed to be A TIO we have a different scenario as we are dealing with line of flight.

  7. Jerry

    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    No harm, no foul.

    Should have left her alone.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 24, 2018 at 12:51 am

      Okay. What other rules should we ignore?

  8. Ken

    Feb 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    She’s there to play golf. The sign shouldn’t prevent a player’s shot. Total BS.

    • Billy

      Feb 26, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Ken, you get relief from a temporary immovable obstruction, she went about it the wrong way. You take relief at nearest point of relief plus one club length, rather then moving what has been deemed unmovable. While I don’t know the local rule used here for sure, she likely gets line of play relief meaning after taking proper relief the sign would not have affected her stance, swing, or intended line of play.

  9. Ben Jones

    Feb 23, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Penalized for moving a sign that is staked in the ground? BS! No common sense. Once again, stupid rules that make the game even less appealing.

  10. Scott

    Feb 23, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I think Lexi is getting paid a lot of money for being stupid.

  11. Mark

    Feb 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    A sign you can easily pick up an move is an immovable object, but a 10 ton boulder that takes 10 men to move for Tiger…. is a loose impediment. Love them rules!

    • Ross

      Feb 24, 2018 at 4:59 am

      Poor Lexi, It’s a shame I’d of beaten the advertising hoarding to shred fecking advertising the difference between this and the woods incident is nobody paid lots of money to have the boulder there!

      I don’t get why people gripe about that incident I always find it amusing, and think fair play made the rules work for him, reminds me of an old cricketer who came to the stumps with a bat wider than the stumps because the rules did not state a maximum width of bat!

      I do however think after the incident the rule should of been changed so a loose impediment was deemed a piece of rock the player alone can move!

  12. Lee T. Ponton

    Feb 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Maybe I don’t feel sorry for Lexi anymore. What she did was just impulsive and stupid. She had a copy of the local rules. It’s on her caddy to read them also. This was a dumb way to give up two strokes.

    • Joro

      Feb 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      It may have been stupid, but when is a Temporary advertising sign deemed an immovable Obstruction. That is a BS running, I have seen a lot those sign moved for a shot.

      • Robert

        Feb 26, 2018 at 4:27 am

        I guess you should call the rules official to make a call. She was impulsive, and with a little thought, she would’ve dropped without any penalty. Blame’s on her.

  13. Jim Eathorne

    Feb 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    With slow play continuing to be a major problem hindering growth of golf, she probably made the decision to remove the sign in order to keep play moving forward. Was it Thursday? dealing with full fields crossover tee times and more than likely AM and PM starting times probably not a rules official readily available? Who knows, yet I realize the rules of golf are the rules and she violated them, but it does seem disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard, in this situation should be a correctable offense.

    • Jonathan Ho

      Feb 23, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      A player does not get disqualified for signing a scorecard with a wrong score when he/she was not aware of a rules infringement thus incurring a stroke penalty incurred during the round. Lexi did not sign her score card with the incorrect score this time around as she was informed of the 2 stroke penalty in the scorers tent prior to signing for a 66. She did sign for a 68.

  14. Jim K

    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    When is golf going to start applying common sense to the rulebook? If an object can be moved without extraordinary efforts (like using a backhoe), it’s a moveable obstruction. If it can’t be moved, it’s an immovable obstruction. What difference does it make if the obstruction is permanent or temporary?

    • Lee T. Ponton

      Feb 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Agree with you. But unfortunately tournaments are allowed to have local rules. And the players and their caddies have to read them. Just like Dustin Johnson at the Whistling Straight PGA.

    • Joro

      Feb 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      Never is common sense used.

  15. Ron

    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    AS one previously said, players are given a copy of the local rules. READ THEM! That is on the player. If in doubt, call in a rules official. Duh!

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 24, 2018 at 12:52 am

      It’s true. Same for all the hand-wringing over Dustin Johnson at the PGA. Got ridiculous in about two minutes.

  16. Bill

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Is this a permanent sign, or a temporary sign ? That’s the question. If the advertising sign is there FOR the tournament it should be able to be moved. If it’s a permanent fixture of the golf course – then it’s immovable. Was the sign mentioned in the rules sheet that the players and caddies all received prior to the tournament is another question.

    • David

      Feb 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      It was a local rule the sign was immovable. That’s it. No need to complain about it. I’m tired of her getting a pass from people just because she got caught marking her ball wrong. Too many players do it and it’s a petty way to cheat.

  17. Rog

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:57 am

    In every formal event, the officials hand out the local rules for that event, supplementing the Rule of Golf. It’s on the player to read it and know there are any additions or changes that are in play during that event. Clearly, she doesn’t read them. Her whole team should be fired. She needs better people around her.

  18. Jim Sweeney

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I don’t understand the previous comments. First, she did not cheat. Second, one does get relief from a temporary immovable obstruction of one desires it. Third, the rules officials intervened to apply the correct penalty and avoid a further penalty. What is the problem? It is the player’s responsibility to know the rules, including local rules. On tour there are multiple opportunities to get help with the application of a rule if one desires it. Seems like this went pretty well, over all.

    • Fozzie Bear

      Feb 23, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      They did drop the additional two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard because of failure to add the penalty strokes from a breach the player didn’t know he/she had incurred.

  19. Wally

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Other than the cost to play golf (equipment, fees, and memberships) this is another reason why golf could be on the decline:

    “Basically there are 34 rules of Golf. However, there are aprox more than 100 sections and subsections. Moreover there are over 2000 explanatory decisions, probably giving golf the most complicated rules of any sport”

  20. Tom54

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Are you kidding? You hit a ball in the vicinity of an advertising sign and no relief? Who plays courses with these out there anyway? Sail one over the green in the stands you get a free drop but not from a sign that is propped up for the camera angle to capture on tv. As dumb as this rule is Lexi should have either read local rule sheet or asked before doing what she did.

    • Fozzie Bear

      Feb 23, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      The sign was a temporary immovable obstruction just like the stands. She would’ve got a free drop if the sign was interfering with her stance, stroke path or line of play. Moving a TIO is against the rule though.

      • TexasWedge

        Feb 23, 2018 at 1:07 pm

        I agree with your assessment. However, I’m not sure I understand why a small MOVABLE sign would be considered a TIO in the first place. Tiger once had a huge boulder moved for him, legally, but a small signed is designated a TIO? Oh well, if it was spelled out in the local rules for the tournament, she made a mistake and will not likely make it again.

  21. Don

    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:35 am

    The golf associations need to have officials on every hole. Some bad decisions are made because common sense is used to keep play moving. This is resulting in errors and penalties. Lexi does not need an unfair advantage to win but has been faced with some bad luck. Honestly, for any player, how is the difference in position of a quarter size marker going to make any difference in a putt?

  22. gator chet

    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

    The last thing Golf needs is that every single time there is a question that players call in a Rules Official. We need shot clocks and the players to drop their own balls correctly. If a player makes a mistake, update the score and move on. Lets go play!

  23. Rod

    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Well well well caught cheating again!

    • TexasWedge

      Feb 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Moron.

      Lexi was not cheating. She made a bad decision on what to do in her situation, but it doesn’t even come close to cheating.

      • jean claude marleau

        Feb 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        yes it is cheating but she is american then no cheating

    • Uhit

      Feb 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      To classify a obviously movable object as immovable, is more curious, than to move it…

      …especially in regard of the big stone (rather a rock), that was moved for Tiger – without a penalty!

      Especially, if you consider, that a free drop would have probably given her a better position, than to move the object.

      In my opinion, this is a great example for a stupid local rule, where Lexi stumbled in, with her common sense…

    • Chris

      Feb 23, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Have you ever violated any of the Rules of Golf, including local rules? If you say yes, then you are also a cheater. If you say no, then you are a liar.

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19th Hole

Tiger at the Masters: The 3 that got away

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This time last year, Tiger Woods earned his fifth green jacket at the 2019 Masters, breaking a 14-year drought at Augusta National and completing a storybook career comeback (see Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters WITB here).

Between his 2005 and 2019 victories, Woods gave himself several chances to reclaim the green jacket, but for one reason or another, the championship continuously eluded the 15-time major winner.

Looking back on that drought, three years in particular stick out in my mind where Woods (being the ruthless closer that he is) could, and maybe should, have capitalized on massive opportunities.

2007 Masters

A unique tournament broke out at the 2007 Masters with chilly and windy conditions meaning we would see an over-par score winning the event for the first time in a generation.

Unusually however was the fact that Tiger Woods had got himself into a fantastic position heading into the final day’s play—one stroke back of the lead and in the final group.

By the first hole on Sunday, Woods had a share of the lead. A couple of holes later, and he was the sole leader. But instead of the game’s greatest ever closer doing what he does best, we saw the first small chink in Tiger’s major armor.

Unable to keep up with the improved scoring on Sunday, Woods finished the championship two strokes behind Zach Johnson. It was the first time Woods lost a major in which he held the lead at some point in the final round.

11th hole Sunday. Woods saved par.

Summing up after the round why things hadn’t turned out the way the entire golf world expected, Woods said

“Looking back over the week I basically blew this tournament with two rounds where I had bogey, bogey finishes. That’s 4-over in two holes. The last two holes, you just can’t afford to do that and win major championships.”

2011 Masters

In one of the most exciting final rounds in Masters history, an electric front-nine charge from Woods coupled with a Rory McIlroy collapse saw the then 35-year-old tied for the lead heading into the back nine.

After back-to-back pars on the challenging 10th and 11th holes, Woods found the green on the 12th before it all slipped away. A disastrous three-putt was followed by a deflating five on the par-5 13th and an agonizing near-miss for birdie on 14.

In typical defiant fashion, Woods then flushed a long iron on the par-5 15th to give him five feet for eagle and what would have been the outright lead. But he couldn’t find the cup.

Directly following his round, a visibly miffed Woods said

“I should have shot an easy 3- or 4-under on the back nine and I only posted even. But I’m right there in the thick of it and a bunch of guys have a chance. We’ll see what happens.”

What happened was eventual champion Charl Schwartzel did what Woods said he should have done—shooting 4 under on the back to win his first major.

2013 Masters

Luck, or lack of, is a contentious topic when it comes to sports fans, but at the 2013 Masters, Woods’ shocking fate played out as if those on Mount Olympus were orchestrating the tournament.

Woods entered the 2013 Masters as the World Number One, brimming with confidence having won three out of his first five tournaments to start the year.

By Friday afternoon, Woods had cruised into a share of the lead, before crisply striking a wedge on the par-5 15th as he hunted for another birdie.

In a cruel twist of fate, Woods’ ball struck the pin and ricocheted back into the water. “Royally cheated!” shouted on-course announcer David Feherty. Nobody could argue otherwise.

A subsequent “bad drop” turned a probable birdie into a triple-bogey placing Woods behind the proverbial 8-ball for the rest of the tournament. The game’s ultimate closer should have been in the lead with two rounds to play on a front-runner’s paradise of a course; instead, he was in chase-mode. (From 1991-2012, 19 of the 22 winners came from the final group).

Woods tried to rally over the weekend, but if he didn’t think the 2013 Masters was ill-fated for himself by Friday evening, then he would have been excused to do so on the eighth hole on Saturday.

 

Had Woods’ golf ball missed the pin at 15 on that hot and humid Spring afternoon in 2013, then he not only wins, but he likely wins going away.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.7.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

“Flow inspired” from Goodwood.

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Flow inspired. ????

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Awesome Tiger King giveaway from Rawhide Golf.

Beautiful looking work on this flat-stick from The Golf Garage.

Pre-orders now available on Bettinardi’s Queen B 6 SBS.

Frank mallet covers from MSquare Design.

Masters themed copper plated Studio Design 2 from Embrace Putters.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

All the details of the Masters coverage being broadcast this week

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The 2020 Masters may be postponed until November, but during what was initially scheduled to be ‘Masters week’ there’s still plenty of ways for you to get your fix from the iconic championship.

Full final-round coverage of both Tiger Woods’ 2019 victory and Phil Mickelson’s 2004 triumph are just two of the highlights you can look forward to this weekend, with a bundle of action being showcased across different networks.

Here’s a full rundown of the coverage various networks are putting on this week.

*All times ET*

Golf Channel

Monday:

  • 2:30PM: 1960 Masters highlights, Arnold Palmer
  • 4:30PM: 1962 Masters highlights, Arnold Palmer
  • 6:30PM: 1964 Masters highlights, Arnold Palmer
  • 8PM: Celebrating the Masters

Tuesday:

  • 2:30PM: 1974 Masters highlights, Gary Player
  • 6:30PM: 1978 Masters highlights, Gary Player
  • 8PM: Celebrating the Masters

Wednesday:

  • 10AM: 1968 Masters highlights, Bob Goalby
  • 12:15PM: 1970 Masters highlights, Billy Casper
  • 6:15PM: 1986 winner’s news conference, Jack Nicklaus

Thursday:

  • 10:30AM: 1987 Masters highlights, Larry Mize
  • 12PM: 1977 Masters highlights, Tom Watson
  • 1.30PM: 1981 Masters highlights, Tom Watson
  • 4.30PM: 1962 Masters highlights, Arnold Palmer
  • 6.30PM: 1964 Masters highlights, Arnold Palmer
  • 7:30PM: 2012 winner’s news conference, Bubba Watson 
  • 11PM: 1997 winner’s news conference, Tiger Woods

Friday: 

  • 10AM: 1980 Masters highlights, Seve Ballesteros
  • 11:30AM: 1983 Masters highlights, Seve Ballesteros
  • 6PM: 2013 winner’s news conference, Adam Scott
  • 11PM: 2005 winner’s news conference, Tiger Woods

Saturday: 

  • 9:30AM: 1989 Masters highlights, Nick Faldo 
  • 1:30PM: 1986 Masters highlights, Jack Nicklaus
  • 6pm: 2004 winner’s news conference, Phil Mickelson

Sunday:

  • 6PM: 2019 Live From the Masters

CBS

Saturday:

  • 1:30PM: 1975 final-round highlights, Jack Nicklaus 
  • 2004 final round, Phil Mickelson 

Sunday:

  • 12:30PM: 2019 final round, Tiger Woods 

ESPN

Thursday:

  • 3PM: 2012 final round, Bubba Watson
  • 7:30PM: 1997 final round, Tiger Woods 

Friday: 

  • 12PM: 2013 final round, Adam Scott
  • 6PM: 2005 final round, Tiger Woods

All final round broadcasts from 1968 through 2019 are also available to watch now in their entirety on The Masters YouTube channel.

 

 

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