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19th Hole

Deja vu: Video review leads to a rules violation on the LPGA Tour

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While it didn’t cost her the tournament (poor final-round play did that), Nicole Broch Larsen incurred the wrath of video review at the Volunteers of America Texas Classic.

Broch Larsen was six under during her Saturday effort amid the weather-decimated tournament. Video review revealed she caused her ball to move at her second-to-last hole of the day.

Unwelcome stuff for Broch Larsen, yes, but making matters worse: an on-course rules official told her there was no infraction. She played on accordingly, and was retroactively hit with a one-stroke penalty. However, as she was following the guidance of a rules official, the LPGA didn’t assess an additional penalty stroke for playing a ball out of position.

You can see the incident in the Golf Channel video below.

The violation of Rule 18-2 is pretty clear, as it’s the act of Broch Larsen addressing the ball that caused it to move, rather than an outside agency. That said, it’s another curious case. To so-called “Lexi Thompson Rule” isn’t in effect, as the movement of the ball was readily apparent to the naked eye.

The tournament was a near washout, adding another layer of oddity to this incident. No golf was played Thursday. Friday’s round got started eight hours late, and the tournament was reduced to 36 holes.

Broch Larsen finished tied for 12th, six strokes behind winner Sung Hyun Park (-11).

Do you think Broch Larsen knew she’d committed a violation, but wasn’t aware she could still be penalized despite what the rules official said? Do you think she was genuinely unsure and trusted the opinion of the official? How did the official get it so wrong? What say you, GolfWRX members?

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Todd Dugan

    May 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Its pure speculation here as to what the conversation was between the player and rules official. Almost certainly, the video footage revealed a reality different than what the player reported. Having said that, the old rule was simple; if you grounded your club, you were DEEMED to have caused the ball to move. Now, maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Who knows? Finally, there should be NO PENALTY at all for a ball at rest moved.

  2. One Day At A Time

    May 8, 2018 at 1:27 am

    I just want to point out how much perspective shift there would have been if she had called a penalty on herself without a rules official. It’s a bad rule, her intent was clear, but she had an opportunity to highlight those things, and, let’s be honest- did she really need an interpretation of the rule? No.

  3. Law Prof

    May 8, 2018 at 12:44 am

    I don’t think it was a fait accompli that she caused the ball to move. One can address a ball on a hillside and that ball may be about to move at any moment and then it moves completely incidental to addressing it. It wasn’t obvious to me, just jumping right out, that she’d touched the ball. I don’t know, but that’s a tough call.

    • Law Prof

      May 8, 2018 at 12:50 am

      …and yes, I understand she didn’t have to touch the ball to be penalized, but nonetheless, it wasn’t obvious to me that her address of the ball caused it to move. A judgment call. Which should be properly made by the official on the scene, not second-guessed after the fact. And again, at best it’s guesswork, an opinion. Probably she caused the ball to move, but only God knows, and it’s anything but certain.

  4. MacAllan

    May 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Looks like LPGA has become more a video game then a live sport.

  5. Jon

    May 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    On that premise, If a rules official gets it wrong does she not get her stroke back later?

  6. Fyearoldgolfer

    May 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Video won’t play, just audio

  7. Wiger Toods

    May 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Hey ref, is that a foul?

    No.

    *game ends*

    Let’s go back and take free throws…

  8. Caroline

    May 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    You can bet the 10 or 20 spectators at that LPGA event did not see anything….If rules officials do not mean anything why have them…once a rule official says strike or ball it should be over…this action is just one more reason the LPGA is hurting…

  9. Jack

    May 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Total BS. If the rules official deems it wasn’t an infraction, that is the end of it.

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19th Hole

Hungover Eddie Pepperell is the real winner of The Open

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Eddie Pepperell is never dull. The Englishman’s candor, articulateness, and skill with a pen make him a great follow on Twitter and beyond.

But even given standard Peperellian forthrightness, it was surprising to hear this: Pepperell was hungover during the final round at Carnoustie…a round in which he fired a 4-under 67.

Pepperell finished tied for sixth at 5-under, three strokes behind Francesco Molinari, and he offered this admission in his final-round press conference.

“I was a little hungover…I had too much to drink last night. And I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn’t have been heartbreaking. But as it happens, I shot 67. So, you know, it’s a funny game.”

Hitting the course before the winds kicked up, Pepperell birdied the third, fifth, sixth, and 14th holes before rolling in another at the 17th.

He clarified that he’s no wino.

“Listen, I wouldn’t always have a drink the night before. Sometimes I have a few drinks. Tiger is minus-7, he didn’t have a drink last night, I bet. Proper athlete…I didn’t really have that much to drink, just I’m a lightweight, yeah.”

Pepperell clarified that he felt okay this morning, but woke up in the middle of the night feeling poorly. he said. Then it was time to sit back and watch as the leaders battled Carnoustie’s back nine.

Proper athlete or no, Pepperell finished tied with Woods at 5 under.

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19th Hole

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”

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Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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